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The Crown to end after five seasons as Netflix reveals new Queen

Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth II for the fifth and final season.

Imelda Staunton on the red carpet for the premiere of movie Downton Abbey.
Imelda Staunton on the red carpet for the premiere of movie Downton Abbey.
Image: PA Images

THE CROWN, NETFLIX’S hit drama series about the British royal family, will end earlier than expected and has revealed its next and last queen.

Show creator and showrunner Peter Morgan had said he expected to create six seasons, but now thinks five is the “perfect time and place to stop.”

Imelda Staunton has been chosen to be the last actress to play Queen Elizabeth II. She will take the crown in the fifth season from Olivia Colman who will continue for one more season. 

Colman took over in season 3 for the period covering 1964 to 1977. The first two seasons saw the lead character played by Claire Foy.

“Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor,” Morgan said in a statement Friday.

Staunton, whose parents both hail from Co Mayo, is an Olivier Award-winner whose films include Vera Drake, Nanny McPhee and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

She also played Lady Maud Bagshaw in the Downton Abbey movie.

The decision to end the programme after five season means the show is unlikely to cover recent royal issues such as Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal life and the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew’s friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.  

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The Crown has won a Golden Globe for best TV drama and both Foy and Colman have won best actress Globes in the royal role. Season three arrived on Netflix in December.

Netflix is famously coy about its viewing figures but revealed in last week that total of 73 million households worldwide have watched royal drama The Crown since it began in 2016. 

However, series three failed to make Netflix UK’s top 10 list of its most popular releases of 2019.

- With reporting by Associated Press

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Rónán Duffy

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