Netflix has released the first look of Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in the upcoming Season 5 of “The Crown.”
The new season will chronicle the Queen in the later years of her life. Staunton, 65, is the third actress to play the monarch, following Olivia Colman’s Seasons 3 and 4 portrayal, and previously, Claire Foy in Seasons 1 and 2.
The fifth season will pick up where the fourth season left off — the early 1990s. According to Variety, it is expected to document the queen’s year of “annus horribilis” in 1992, when the royal family faced numerous scandals, including the separation of Prince Charles and Diana; the report of an affair between Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles; the publication of topless sunbathing photos of Sarah Ferguson; and a catastrophic fire at Windsor Castle.
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Producers have yet to confirm or deny whether the upcoming season will incorporate Princess Diana’s death in 1997. However, Staunton will reportedly stay for two seasons, portraying the queen into the early 2000s during the sixth and supposedly final season.
In January, Staunton revealed some of the nuances and difficulties of her upcoming portrayal.
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“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. With Claire Foy, it was almost history and now I’m playing one that people could say ‘she doesn’t do that,’ ‘she’s not like that,’ and that’s my personal bête noire,” Staunton told People magazine.
The Season 5 cast also includes Jonathan Pryce (“Game of Thrones”) as Prince Philip; Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) as Princess Margaret; Elizabeth Debicki (“Tenet”) as Diana, Princess of Wales; and, most recently announced, Jonny Lee Miller (“Elementary”) as former Prime Minister John Major.
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Earlier this month, the fourth season of “The Crown” was nominated for 24 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series; Best Actress in a Drama for both Colman and Corrin; Best Actor in a Drama for Josh O’Conner, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for Tobias Menzies; and Best Supporting Actress for Emerald Fennell, Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter.
Netflix has not yet revealed a Season 5 premiere date.