Why Imelda Staunton's Harry Potter role means The Crown fans just can't get on board with her playing Queen Elizabeth II

Fans insist that Imelda Staunton's Harry Potter role as Professor Dolores Umbridge has ruined her portrayal of The Queen in The Crown

Imelda Staunton's Harry Potter role as Professor Dolores Umbridge
(Image credit: Netflix)

The success of the fifth season of The Crown has been undeniable and many of the actors have been praised for their incredible performances. 

However, while Imelda Staunton is undoubtedly an incredible actor and has many accolades for her impressive career, there is one issue that some fans are having with her performance in the Netflix royal drama.

Harry Potter fans who are familiar with her role as Professor Umbridge in the fifth film in the magical franchise, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, are struggling to see Imelda as the Queen. With her posh RP English accent, her cropped curly hair, and her matching skirt suit sets, fans can't help but see the similarity between Imelda's portrayal of the Queen, and her previous role as the heinous Professor Umbridge - arguably one of the worst villains in the Harry Potter franchise.

Imelda Staunton's Harry Potter role as Professor Dolores Umbridge

Imelda Staunton's Harry Potter role as Professor Dolores Umbridge

(Image credit: Future: Canva / Getty)

"Who thought it was a good idea to have Dolores Umbridge play Queen Elizabeth in the crown? I just can’t see her without seeing Harry Potter because she was so good in it," said one fan of The Crown on Twitter.

"Once you have the realization that the same actress who played Professor Umbridge in Harry Potter is now playing Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, the character becomes irrevocably changed. I cannot unsee what I have seen and my brain refuses to separate them now," said another.

The Crown

(Image credit: Future: Canva / Getty)

"I’m watching the Crown and I don’t see the Queen. All I see is the malevolent Dolores Umbridge who made life difficult for Harry Potter," said yet another viewer.

One viewer commented that they were forced to get a little creative when watching the show. "All I can is the pink lady from Harry Potter as the queen in the Crown I hate it I have to use my imagination so hard to make it work #TheCrown," said the viewer.

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Imelda's portrayal has divided fans because of her previous character in the Harry Potter films, but overall her performance has been celebrated by fans and critics alike since the show debuted. Like Imelda, the previous actors to portray the Queen in The Crown, have also been highly praised for their performances. 

Claire Foy was the first actor to portray the Queen in the series and was nominated for the Best Actress BAFTA in 2017 and 2018. Claire was also nominated for the Best Actress in a Drama Series at the TV Critics' Choice Television Awards in 2018, and the Dorian Awards TV Performance of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

Olivia Colman, the actress to portray the Queen in seasons three and four of the Netflix show was also highly praised. Olivia was nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series at the TV Critics' Choice Television Awards in 2020 and 2021, and won the Best Actress in a Drama Television Series Golden Globe in 2020. 

She was also nominated for this same Golden Globe award in 2021 but was beaten by her co-star Emma Corrin, who portrayed Princess Diana.

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.