First look at Imelda Staunton playing the Queen as she takes over from Olivia Colman for series 5 of The Crown

Imelda Staunton is taking over the role of the Queen from Olivia Colman

Imelda Staunton during the red carpet for the movie "Downton Abbey" for the third day of the Rome Film Fest
(Image credit: Photo by Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Crown creators have given fans a glimpse at Imelda Staunton's incredible transformation into Queen Elizabeth II ahead of season five. 

Imelda is taking over from Olivia Colman and will document the Queen's reign for the show's fifth and sixth series, which will take the royal family into the early 2000s.

Sharing a sneak peek of Imelda's epic transformation on Instagram, The Crown bosses posted a picture of her with grey hair, a yellow blouse and the Queen's signature pose.

They captured the shot, "An early glimpse of our new Queen Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton."

Naturally fans went wild over the first glimpse, with one simply saying, "Hair and wardrobe on point." While another added, "She'll totally nail this role."

But fans of the hit Netflix show will have to wait a good few months to see more of Imelda as series five isn't being released until 2022.


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While everyone else is convinced Imelda—who has previously starred in Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Maleficent—will be great at the role, she's incredibly nervous for several reasons. 

Unlike other roles, there's not a "spin" Imelda, 65, can put on this. 

Speaking to The Sun, "Imelda admitted, It's not like a part I can put a spin on. My preparation has to be everything. 

"It has to be watching her, reading about the past. I have to sit in my room getting frightened thinking, 'I can't do it, I can't do it' and then say to yourself, 'Yes you can' and get on with it."

Whereas previous seasons of The Crown have been a flashback to history, Imelda has the "extra challenge" of people being able to compare her character to the Queen we know and love.

She explained, "Now we start in 1991 playing someone much more recent. That's the extra challenge I have, people saying, 'Oh, I don't think she's like that at all'". 

With the popularity of The Crown already at fever pitch, Imelda feels she has big shoes to fill.

"There is pressure from every angle," she said. "I'm following two extraordinary actresses but also following on extraordinary human being."

But, former The Crown star Olivia Colman said Imelda has nothing to worry about.

"I haven't spoken to Imelda and I wouldn't dare offer any advice about playing the Queen," she confessed.

"Imelda is extraordinary and she's going to do it all much better than me. I can't wait to watch what she does." 

Series five of The Crown started filming in June 2021 and is due to be released in 2022.

We can't wait! 

Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."