The Crown’s New Queen Elizabeth II Facing Extra Challenge In Season 5

Imelda Staunton is gearing up to take on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown season 5, and she’ll face one particular challenge her predecessors haven’t. The Crown switches cast every two seasons, with Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth for the Netflix series’ first two seasons. Academy Award-winning Olivia Colman took over the role for seasons 3 and 4. Now, Staunton will play the Queen in the last two seasons. Originally pared down to only one final season, it was announced that The Crown would stick to its original plan of six seasons, giving Staunton the same run as the previous two.

The rest of the cast is also being switched out. Elizabeth Debicki (Tenet) will be taking over as Princess Diana after Emma Corrin played her to acclaim in season 4. Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones) will be taking over as Prince Philip, and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) taking over as Princess Margaret. The rest of the cast remains a mystery, as does when exactly season 5 will premiere. Season 5 will begin filming in June 2021.

Related: The Best Netflix TV Shows Of 2020

When season 5 does begin filming, Staunton will have to face a challenge that her predecessors seldom have. The actress told Variety that, when filming starts, her biggest concern is that she’s portraying a figure at a time in her life the general public is very familiar with. Staunton explains that, with Foy and some of Colman’s earlier material, the actresses were portraying a Queen Elizabeth that has been cemented in history, rather than a very alive, very public figure. Those watching will be much more attuned to her actions and movements, as they are meant to mimic the Queen’s current behavior.

“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’s concern is a familiar one. While The Crown season 4 premiered to critical acclaim at the end of 2020, it also ignited a fervor not yet seen during the show’s run. Viewers were outraged with Prince Charles (played by Josh Charles) and how his actions contributed to Princess Diana’s mental health. Fans went as far as berating Prince Charles and his lover, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on social media, forcing them to turn off comments on their accounts. This led to calls for the show to include a disclaimer stating it clearly that the show is a work of fiction.

As of right now, there are no plans to include a disclaimer, even as the show moves into the modern-day. With that comes the scandals that have plagued the monarchy in its more recent years, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s divorce, as well as Princess Diana’s tragic death. Reflected in the reaction to this most recent season are Staunton’s concerns. While those who remember the events of the first few seasons are few and far between, more recent events still live on in the minds of those watching the show. As The Crown covers these salacious events moving towards its conclusion, these feelings might still be raw. Staunton is rightfully concerned about the effect this may have on viewers, not only when it comes to her performance, but with the historical events the series portrays.

 More: The Crown’s Line Of Succession After Season 4 (Compared To Today)

Source: Variety

Originally from

Leave a Comment