Get Your First Look at Imelda Staunton as The Crown's Queen Elizabeth II

For those who have their eyes on the throne—especially in the land of Netflix—you’re going to love this first look at Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II for the hit series The Crown.

By Kisha Forde Jul 30, 2021 4:35 PMTags
Watch: Necessary Realness: All Hail "The Crown"

Meet your new on-screen monarch.
 
Ahead of the highly anticipated fifth season of Netflix's The Crown, the streaming service dropped a first look at actress Imelda Staunton in her role as Queen Elizabeth II. The popular drama centered around the royal family reportedly began production on the fifth season earlier this month and fans are gaining even more reasons to get excited with each sneak peek.
 
In an interview with the BBC earlier this year, the Harry Potter alum chatted about playing the role of a royal member and revisiting not-so-distant events within history.

"I think my sort of extra challenge, as if I needed it, is that I'm now doing the queen that we're a little more familiar with," Imelda explained. "With Claire Foy, it was almost history and now I'm playing one [queen] that people could say, ‘She doesn't do that,' ‘She's not like that,' and that's my personal bête noire."

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However, Imelda is not the only star tasked with playing a modern royal. As dedicated viewers will remember, the entire cast gets replaced every two seasons, which means Imelda will be joined by Elizabeth Debecki, replacing Golden Globe winner Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, Jonathan Pryce taking over for Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip, Dominic West stepping in for Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles and Lesley Manville taking the reins from Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.

Alex Bailey/Netflix

But before you get your teacup ready, it's worth noting that the fifth season will not premiere until 2022. Until then, here's every crumb of information we know about the new season so far:

How Much of The Crown Is Left?

There are two more seasons to go before the tiaras and tea sets get put away for good (or at least until creator Peter Morgan decides to get them out again). Season five is next, and season six will be the last. 

When Will Season 5 Arrive?

This is the bad news: 2022! 

That may feel a few lightyears away, but it's a regular schedule for the series. Season one came out in 2016, followed by season two in 2017. Season three arrived in 2019, season four in 2020, and now there's another break for season five. Morgan explained in a recent interview with THR that he needs the time off to both shoot and write the next season, since the show films in two-season chunks. 

The sixth and final season will likely premiere in 2023. 

How Far Will The Crown Get Before It Ends?

Seasons five and six will take the royal family into the 21st century, but not too far into it. Nothing super recent will be covered, but since each season tends to span around a decade, it makes sense that the show might end with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. That would mean William and Kate's 2011 wedding would be featured, but little else from the 2010s. 

The New Diana

Elizabeth Debicki will play a slightly older Diana in season five, which will likely cover the '90s from her split from Charles to her death in 1997. She takes over from Emma Corrin, who debuted in season four.

The former Princess of Wales' boyfriend Dodi Fayed will reportedly be played by Khalid Abdalla, per Variety. Dodi's billionaire father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, will also appear in season five, as Oslo actor Salim Daw has been cast in this role.

The New Queen

The entire cast gets replaced every two seasons, so Olivia Colman will pass the torch to Imelda Staunton, who you may know best as Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter

The New Prince Philip

Game of Thrones star Jonathan Pryce will play Prince Philip in seasons five and six, taking over for Tobias Menzies.

The New Princess Margaret

Lesley Manville will follow in the footsteps of Helena Bonham Carter as the new Princess Margaret in seasons five and six.

The New Prince Charles

The Wire and The Affair star Dominic West plays Prince Charles, succeeding Josh O'Connor in the role.

Dominic's own son Senan will play a teenage Prince William in season five.

Meet Prime Minister John Major

Jonny Lee Miller has joined The Crown for season five as John Major, the British Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997. Gillian Anderson played previous Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who left office in 1990.

Is There Any Chance of Seeing Meghan Markle on The Crown?

Sadly, no. As much as we keep hoping, Morgan said that Harry and Meghan, despite the captivating drama they've added to the world of the royal family, are too recent to cover with any clarity. 

"Meghan and Harry are in the middle of their journey, and I don't know what their journey is or how it will end," he told THR. "One wishes some happiness, but I'm much more comfortable writing about things that happened at least 20 years ago. I sort of have in my head a 20-year rule. That is enough time and enough distance to really understand something, to understand its role, to understand its position, to understand its relevance." 

Here's hoping for another season in 2040!  

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