Entertainment TV Netflix offers sneak peek at Imelda Staunton as Queen
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Netflix offers sneak peek at Imelda Staunton as Queen

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Netflix has released a first look at the new actress who plays the Queen in the fifth series of its smash hit The Crown.

Imelda Staunton plays the monarch in the drama’s upcoming new season – with filming already beginning.

Staunton, 65, is best known for her roles as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter franchise and Vera Drake. She takes over from Olivia Colman, who played the Queen in the show’s previous two seasons.

Netflix teased its upcoming series, sharing an image of Staunton in character, wearing a pale yellow dress and sporting the monarch’s signature coiffed curls, with the caption: “An early glimpse of our new Queen Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton.”

Staunton will likely be the last actress to play the Queen in the Netflix series, with the company confirming it will end with the sixth season.

But viewers will have to wait a bit longer for more than a tease, with the full series not due to drop until sometime in 2022.

On Monday (British time), just a day after Netflix’s big reveal, more candid shots of Staunton in character emerged. They show her and other cast members in the Scottish village of Macduff, recreating scenes from a 1961 royal visit.

The Crown traditionally recasts its lead roles every two seasons, meaning there’s a whole new cast for the fifth and the sixth series.

Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki has been named in the key role of Princess Diana, while Jonathan Pryce will play Prince Philip and Lesley Manville will take over as Princess Margaret.

“Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many,” Debicki said of her new role.

“It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.”

the crown
Imelda Staunton, as the Queen, filming in Scotland for The Crown. Photo: Getty

Who will play Prince Charles has not yet been revealed, although British star Dominic West is reported to be in final talks. West played Jimmy McNulty in The Wire and earned a Golden Globe nomination for his work as Noah Solloway in The Affair.

The role of the Prince of Wales will be key in series five, which is expected to cover much of the 1990s – including the unhappy end to his marriage to Diana and her untimely death in 1997.

The roles of the British PMs of the time – John Major and Tony Blair – are also yet to be announced.

Series six is expected to conclude in the 2000s.

Most filming for the latest series is at the usual Elstree Studios, just north of London.