Imelda Staunton to be last Elizabeth in TV’s ‘The Crown’


FILE PHOTO: Cast member Imelda Staunton attends a news conference for the film “Taking Woodstock” by director Ang Lee at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 16, 2009. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

(Reuters) – British actress Imelda Staunton will play an older Queen Elizabeth in the final season of award-winning television series “The Crown,” the show’s creator said on Friday.

The Netflix series about the British royal family will end after five seasons rather than the six seasons originally envisaged, writer and executive producer Peter Morgan said.

Staunton, best known for playing the vindictive Ministry of Magic official Dolores Umbridge in the “Harry Potter” movies, will take over from Olivia Colman, who played the monarch in middle age in season three and the yet-to-be-released fourth season of “The Crown.”

Staunton said in a statement she was “genuinely honored” to be taking “The Crown” to its conclusion.

“The Crown,” whose first two seasons cost about $130 million to make, dramatizes key events in the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth, the world’s longest-serving monarch. Claire Foy, as the young queen, and Colman both won Golden Globes for their performances and the series has won multiple awards since it launched in 2016.

“At the outset I had imagined ‘The Crown’ running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop,” Morgan said in a statement.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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