The Crown: Imelda Staunton to play Queen Elizabeth II in final season

Show's writer confirmed that the fifth series of the hit Netflix drama will be the last

Roisin O'Connor
Friday 31 January 2020 16:16
The Crown may never tackle modern-day royal family, says producer

Imelda Staunton will play the Queen in the fifth and final series of The Crown, it has been announced.

In a statement, the show’s creator and writer Peter Morgan said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty the Queen for the fifth and final season, taking The Crown into the 21st century.

“Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.

“At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop. I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.”

Staunton, 63, said: "I have loved watching The Crown from the very start. As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan's scripts. I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion."

Netflix's vice president for original content, Cindy Holland, added: "The first three seasons of The Crown defined an era, and I know the upcoming fourth season will build further on that success. It's a stunning example of award-winning entertainment, created in the UK and loved by millions of fans around the world.

"I fully support Peter Morgan's creative decision and am excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of season five bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end."

Season three of The Crown, which aired at the end of 2019, received mixed reviews from critics, although many reserved praise for Colman's portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II.

In a three-star review for The Independent, critic Ed Power wrote: "It's hard not to be struck by what the series leaves out as much as by what it includes... Morgan's take on [the Seventies] is that industrial strife and power cuts in England apparently count for more than the shooting of dead civilians in Derry (the omission doubly inexplicable given [Lord] Mountbatten's ultimate fate, presumably to be covered in season four)."

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He concluded: "With the Charles-Diana marriage and Gillian Anderson's Margaret Thatcher to come in season four, there is still much to look forward to. But for now, the jewel in Netflix's tiara has lost its glow."

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