Who is taking over as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 5 and will she be the last one to play this iconic role?

Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 5 will be played by a wonderful new cast member

Queen Elizabeth in The Crown played by Olivia Colman
(Image credit: Credit: Netflix / The Hollywood Archive via Alamy)

Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 5 is surely going to be a performance to watch as the show edges closer to the present day, but who is taking over the iconic role?

The final The Crown season 5 cast, plot and release date details might not yet have been announced, but that hasn’t stopped fans from anticipating just what the next series has in store. The Crown season 4 focused on Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage, leaving viewers hooked from the moment it landed on Netflix. Though some might be wondering how accurate The Crown really is and prominent figures such as Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, expressed fears that people could forget The Crown is “fiction” and mistake events for fact. 

Despite this, the drama has entertained audiences throughout its four seasons. And whilst Prince Charles and Princess Diana have become more of a focus now the time period has progressed, ultimately it’s Queen Elizabeth II and her reign that the plot revolves around. Her Majesty has been played by different actors throughout the show and the upcoming season will see someone new take on this iconic role. 

But who will be taking over as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 5 and will they be the last actor to play her in the series?

Who will play Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 5?

Just as there will be a new actor taking over as Princess Diana from The Crown season 5, there will also be a new actor joining the cast as Queen Elizabeth. It was previously reported that Netflix has cast Imelda Staunton as the monarch from The Crown season 5. The Laurence Olivier Award winner is perhaps best known to many people for her portrayal of Maud Bagshaw, lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary, in the Downton Abbey movie, as well as for her role as Professor Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film adaptation. 

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)

After the casting was announced, Imelda reportedly discussed her excitement at the prospect of playing Queen Elizabeth, as well as her admiration for the actors who have played the monarch before her. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Imelda declared: “I have loved watching The Crown from the very start.

“As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts. I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.”

What will Queen Elizabeth’s storylines be in The Crown season 5?

It’s been claimed that filming for The Crown season 5 could start later this summer and so without official confirmation of what time period the new season will cover, it’s not yet clear what dramatic scenes Imelda Staunton will take on as Queen Elizabeth. The Crown season 5 ended following Margaret Thatcher’s resignation in 1990, so some have speculated that the 1990s could be the time period for season 5. 

This would certainly give Imelda a lot to work with, as the Queen has previously described 1992 as her “annus horribilis” (horrible year). It was during 1992 that the Queen faced multiple marriages coming to an end within the Royal Family. 

Prince Charles And Princess Diana On Their Last Official Trip Together

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Her only daughter Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips divorced this year, whilst Prince Charles and Princess Diana separated and it's understood that Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York did too. Though 1992 might have been exceptionally challenging, this decade soon became even more devastating. 

It was five years later in 1997 that the Princess of Wales tragically passed away. The Queen went on to address the nation following the death of Princess Diana, speaking “as your Queen and as a grandmother” as she declared her late daughter-in-law an “exceptional and gifted human being”. 

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry attend the Heads of State VE Remembrance Service in Hyde Park on May 7, 1995

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Her Majesty also spoke of how the Royal Family had been trying to “help William and Harry come to terms with the devastating loss that they and the rest of us have suffered”.

It’s not known whether The Crown season 5 will cover this heartbreaking time, though it’s thought likely that if it does not, The Crown season 6 might do so. If this does happen, then viewers could potentially see Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth during this time period, supporting her grandsons. 

But until an official synopsis is released, fans will just have to wait and see what The Crown seasons 5 and 6 might cover.

Will Imelda Staunton play Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season 6? 

Much to the delight of The Crown fans, it was confirmed last year by Netflix that there would be a The Crown season 6 after all, though it will reportedly not take the show right up to present day. As with season 5, however, it’s not been confirmed exactly what time period this final season will cover, leaving fans to theorize about just what drama we will be seeing unfold.  

Though according to Town&Country, the wonderful Imelda Staunton will be retaining her crown until the finale. The publication reports that she will play Queen Elizabeth for both seasons 5 and 6, which also mirrors the path earlier seasons have taken. Both of the previous Queen Elizabeth actors played the monarch for two seasons before handing over this iconic role to their successor. So it certainly seems likely that Imelda Staunton will be the final star following in their footsteps as the show reaches its conclusion.

 Who else has played Queen Elizabeth in The Crown? 

Though we can’t help looking forward to seeing Imelda Staunton bring Queen Elizabeth to life on-screen in The Crown season 5, it will certainly be hard to forget the equally brilliant actors who took on this role in earlier seasons. The Crown debuted with Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth throughout the early years of her reign and seasons 1 and 2 featured many pivotal events, both personal and in terms of her position as sovereign. 

Claire Foy in The Crown

(Image credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy Stock Photo)

These included Queen Elizabeth’s marriage to Prince Philip and the birth of their four children, as well as Winston Churchill’s resignation. Season 3 then covered the period of 1964 and 1977, with Oscar-winner Olivia Colman taking up the mantle of the iconic role.

Olivia played Queen Elizabeth throughout seasons 3 and 4 and it is from her that Imelda Staunton will now take over. Olivia previously issued a warning to Imelda about her itchy wig prior to filming and it will certainly be interesting to see how Imelda’s final Queen Elizabeth will follow on from the previous two.

Olivia Colman in Netflix's The Crown

(Image credit: Netflix)

Though fans will just have to be patient as they wait for the release of The Crown season 5, there's plenty of time to catch up on the recent Kate and William anniversary documentary, and all of The Crown's previous dramatic seasons on Netflix.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!