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There is some good news and bad news for fans of Netflix’s royal drama, The Crown. First, the good news. Netflix has confirmed who will wear the titular bejeweled item next, and it turns out early rumblings were true! Not too long after The Crown’s latest season bowed, reports began to circulate about Olivia Colman’s replacement.
Those reports were that Harry Potter actress, Imelda Staunton, would play Queen Elizabeth II for Seasons 5 and 6 of Netflix's The Crown. For reference, Staunton played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter franchise. Months after those initial reports, the part about Staunton taking on the role has been confirmed to be coming true, per Variety.
The part about Imelda Staunton playing her for Season 6 will not happen, though, because The Crown will be ending with Season 5 on Netflix. Yes, you have reached the “bad news” portion of the announcement. Despite plans for a sixth season to end the drama, The Crown’s creator Peter Morgan said that things have changed. While working on Season 5, he realized it was the “perfect time” to conclude the show.
The announcement means that The Crown’s next season (Season 4) will be its penultimate installment. Season 4 will see Gillian Anderson join the cast playing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Anderson’s co-star, Olivia Coleman, has already lavished tremendous praise on Anderson’s performance. The season will be Colman’s last as Queen Elizabeth II.
Imelda Staunton will be the third and final actress to portray the real-life monarch. Throughout The Crown’s first three seasons, two actresses starred as Queen Elizabeth II. Claire Foy played her for The Crown’s first two seasons, and happily vacated the role ahead of Season 3.
In 2017 it was announced that Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman would take the role over from Claire Foy for Seasons 3 and 4. Other recasts for The Crown, included Queen Elizabeth II’s husband (Prince Philip) and sister (Princess Margaret) and more, soon followed. Outlander’s Tobias Menzies took over for Matt Smith as Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter replaced Season 1 breakout Vanessa Kirby as the troubled Margaret.
The final round of recasts will now be on their way. As fans wait for that, news of The Crown ending might still be registering as quite a shock. While a favorite among Netflix subscribers, the series was missing from Netflix’s list of most-watched UK shows. For those who have watched, there is still a lot to look forward to in The Crown’s final two seasons.
Season 4 will see the much-awaited debut of Queen Elizabeth II’s eventual daughter-in-law, Diana Spencer, played by Emma Corrin. There is unfortunate news for those hoping to see The Crown dive into the royal family’s latest chapter, as things with Diana’s son, Prince Harry, and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex -- Meaghan Markle, are not set to be dramatized by the series.
The wait for Imelda Staunton’s reign as Queen Elizabeth to begin is officially underway! Seasons 1 through 3 of The Crown are currently streaming on Netflix, along with new content arriving in 2020. Season 4 has not had its premiere date announced yet, but while you wait for more royal drama, you can check out this winter’s premieres.