Rachel Skarsten

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Make way for the Queen!

After two seasons of whispers and buzz about Mary's (Adelaide Kane) cousin, Reign is finally ready to introduce Queen Elizabeth!

E! News has learned that Rachel Skarsten, who recently played Christian Grey's (Jamie Dornan) personal assistant in a little movie you may have heard of called Fifty Shades of Grey, has been cast in the major role and will make her royal debut in the season two finale and will play a major role in next season. (In case you missed it, the CW renewed Reign and seven other series  already!)

"I'm delighted to cast Rachel Skarsten as Elizabeth, a female monarch still in her twenties, early yet in her rule," showrunner Laurie McCarthy says in a statement. "She is a beautiful, cunning and brave mix of opposites: a young woman hardened too soon by life's events, but vulnerable when it comes to love. A mercenary foe riddled with compassion for her rival."

And as if we weren't excited enough to finally meet Elizabeth, this preview from McCarthy literally has us counting down the days until we meet her. 

"The character of Elizabeth, Queen of England, the only living child of Henry VIII and the murdered Ann Boleyn, looms over Mary Queen of Scots for the duration of her life. Elizabeth has also, without ever stepping onto our stage, loomed over our first two seasons as a forceful and intriguing presence. I have been dying to introduce her to our characters and our audience. Because no single character understands Mary's unique circumstances more. No character is more of a threat to her happiness and her life. Elizabeth's debut in the season finale is a catalyst for events in Season Three, when Reign will chronicle the lives, loves and tribulations of three queens: Mary, Catherine, and now Elizabeth."

To this we say: 

Yas Queen GIF

Comedy Central

And fans can expect Elizabeth's debut to completely shake up the entire series, with McCarthy teasing, "With her introduction, our world expands: the stakes grow even more heightened as we travel to another court filled with the beauty of privilege, passion and intrigue.  The wait is over.  Elizabeth is here. And I'm certain our audience will welcome her into the fold."

 In addition to Fifty Shades of Grey, Skarsten is known for her work on shows such as Lost Girl and Beauty and the Beast, and played Dinah Lance in the WB's shortlived Birds of Prey series. Other ladies who have taken on the regal role? Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave, while Laoise Murray played the character on The Tudors.

Reign airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.

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