All hail the (new) queen. Netflix has revealed a first look at Imelda Staunton in character as Queen Elizabeth II for the upcoming fifth season of “The Crown.”
See Staunton in all her royal glory in the image at the bottom of this story, which was released by the streaming service Friday. (You can also read about “The Crown” alum Emma Corrin’s, who played Princess Diana on Season 4, reaction to the release of the first look here.)
Staunton is replacing Olivia Colman as the head of the British royal family for Seasons 5 and 6 of the drama series, which will be the show’s final two installments. Colman had the part of Queen Elizabeth II for Seasons 3 and 4, taking over for Claire Foy, who originated the part in Seasons 1 and 2.
The other new cast members for “The Crown” Season 5 include Lesley Manville, who is following in Helena Bonham Carter’s footsteps to play the older Princess Margaret, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip (a role held by Tobias Menzies in the third and fourth season), Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, portrayed by fan-favorite actress Emma Corrin in the character’s Season 4 debut, and Jonny Lee Miller, who will be playing former Prime Minister John Major.
Though multiple reports indicate Dominic West is in talks to take on the part of Prince Charles, played by Josh O’Connor in the third and fourth season, Netflix has not yet confirmed casting of that role for Seasons 5 and 6.
It will be a while until you get to see all of these actors on screen, as though the fourth season of “The Crown” was released in November 2020, fans will be waiting until 2022 for Season 5, which is currently in production in the U.K. under strict COVID-19 safety protocols.
And then there will be just one more installment to go before the series comes to a close, as creator Peter Morgan announced last July the show would end with Season 6 (after previously revealing he had decided to conclude with Season 5).
“As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,” Morgan said in a statement at the time. “To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”
Season 4 of “The Crown” concluded with the queen (Colman) forbidding her son Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) from separating or divorcing Diana (Corrin). That season is up for 24 Primetime Emmy Awards at the ceremony this September.