Imelda Staunton to play Queen Elizabeth in Final Season of “The Crown”

While the vile Dolores Umbridge may have haunted our childhood dreams in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, we fans have since learned that a few million degrees of separation exist between the character and the woman who portrayed her. Imelda Staunton is as warm and generous a woman as she is an immensely talented and versatile actress, and she’ll be taking those talents to the final season of Netflix’s hit series The Crown.

Staunton was announced today as the final incarnation of Queen Elizabeth II on the show, which many fans were surprised to learn would end at the culmination of Season 5. Assumptions had been widely made that the series would continue into the modern day, but show creator and writer Peter Morgan put an end to the speculation with his official statement.

I’m absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty [t]he Queen for the fifth and final season, taking ‘The Crown’ into the 21st [c]entury. Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman. At the ouset, I had imagined ‘The Crown’ running for six seasons, but now that we have begun work on the stories for season 5, it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop. I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.

Claire Foy played Queen Elizabeth in the first two seasons of The Crown and was succeeded by Olivia Colman in Season 3, which was released in November 2019. Colman will continue to play the monarch in Season 4, currently in production, and Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) will also be returning to the role of the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret. There’s been no word on whether or not Bonham Carter will continue as Princess Margaret beyond Season 4.

A few significant additions will appear next season as well, with Emma Corrin (Pennyworth) as Princess Diana, Josh O’Connor (2015’s Cinderella) as Prince Charles, and Gillian Anderson (The X Files) as Margaret Thatcher.

Staunton was first rumored to be the show’s next choice for Queen Elizabeth in November; however, Netflix quickly issued a statement refuting those claims, saying talks with the actress had not yet been held. Staunton seemed like the perfect choice, and we’re happy to see the decision finalized. She’ll likely fit right in, considering she’s also a fan of the program.

I have loved watching ‘The Crown’ from the very start. As an actor, it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts. I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking ‘The Crown’ to its conclusion.

Staunton is additionally among the cast of the upcoming Apple TV+ series Trying, where she’ll star alongside Timothy Spall’s (Peter Pettigrew) son Rafe Spall and Esther Smith, who portrayed Delphi in the original West End run of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

What do you think of Staunton’s casting as the Queen? Let us know in the comments!

Brienne Green

I'm a passionate journalist, feeding my wizarding world obsession on MuggleNet by night, forever trying to find ways to work "Potter" references into high school sports stories by day. When not writing, I can be often be found making quiche at 2 a.m., playing Queen tunes on the piano, or talking (and talking and talking) about Sirius Black.