The Crown season three has just hit Netflix, with Olivia Colman taking on the role of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. But while fans enjoy the period drama in all its glory, producers are already in discussions about series five. And they’ve named a new Queen – Imelda Staunton.
The British icon is set to replace Olivia as Queen Elizabeth as the series advances into the later stages of her life, aged 60 onwards.
The popular Netflix series documents the Royal Family’s trials and tribulations throughout the decades, and bosses have to carefully select actress’ who will portray Her Majesty just right.
Imelda is due to take over from the current acting Queen after the Broadchurch actress steps down from the role at the end of season four next year.
Imelda has played a variety of characters in her career, from working-class prisoner in Vera Drake, villainous Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and as part of the aristocracy as Lady Bagshaw in the Downton Abbey movie, but now she’s reached royal status.
The 63-year-old is following in the footsteps of Olivia and her predecessor Claire Foy, who played the young Queen in the first two series.
She gave a gripping performance before she stepped down for Olivia’s reign.
Although Imelda will appear in the West End in the lead role in Hello, Dolly! next August she will no doubt be exceptionally busy for the net couple of years while she reenacts the Queen and her life story.
Creator of the show, Peter Morgan and his team are currently looking into new storylines that will play out on screen and it has been reported that it could include the Queen’s infamous description of 1992, ‘annus horribilis’.
The year of ’92 was a particularly difficult year for the monarchy, as the Royal Family was rocked by many upheavals; the separation of Prince Andrew from Sarah, Duchess of York, Princess Anne’s divorce from Captain Mark Phillips and the devastating fire at Windsor Castle.
And to top it all off, Andrew Morton’s Diana: A True Story, was published, revealing intimate details about the Princess of Wales and her husband, Prince Charles and his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
It has been said that other episodes will likely detail Diana’s tragic death in 1997 along with the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother within weeks of each other in early 2002.
Nelson Mandela’s visit to London in 1996 could also be explored, as well as the Queen’s 1994 visit to Russia.
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Key political figures such as Prime Ministers John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are also likely to be portrayed, as their political turbulences feature throughout the Queen’s reign.
Olivia appeared on the red carpet earlier this month as the new faces of the The Crown attended the premiere of series three at the Curzon Mayfair in west London.
The lead actress was joined by her co-stars Helena Bonham Carter who has taken over the role of Princess Margaret from Vanessa Kirby, and Tobias Menzies who is portraying Prince Philip as Matt Smith stepped down.
Other new faces of the current season include the likes of Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Jason Watkins as former Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Erin Doherty as Princess Anne.
The Crown bosses made it clear that the period drama would see fresh cast members flitter in and out as it progresses through the decades of the Royal Family’s life.
But not all viewers have grown accustomed to the recasting and have reportedly complained that that it is “disconcerting and confusing” for the major characters to keep changing.
But producers stood their ground and argued that it refreshed the show and meant actors would not have to be aged artificially over the Queen’s long reign.
It is yet to be confirmed how far The Crown will run for, but fans hope it will continue.
All 10 episodes of The Crown series three are available on Netflix.