The Crown’s New Queen Elizabeth Faces A Challenge In Season 5

The Crown
Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com

The Crown is almost near its end with just two seasons left before its epic conclusion. Switching casts every two seasons, the series will have Imelda Staunton portray the role of Queen Elizabeth come season 5. Claire Foy first played Queen Elizabeth for the first two seasons, before Academy Award-winning Olivia Colman took over in seasons 3 and 4. Now, Staunton will do the Queen in the last two seasons, and she’s faced with a challenge her predecessors hardly had. 

In an interview with Variety, the actress revealed that her biggest concern is dealing with her role as the recent queen. “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.”

Staunton, in season 5, portrays the Queen from the late 1990s to early 2000s, unlike Foy and Colman’s earlier material. The previous actresses were rather portraying a version of Queen Elizabeth that has already been cemented in history. 

“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.” In other words, those watching will likely be more attuned to her actions and movements, as they are meant to depict the Queen’s current behavior.

The Crown amidst facing several controversies

While The Crown season 4 premiered to critical acclaim at the end of 2020, it also met numbers of criticisms. Viewers were outraged with Prince Charles (Josh Charles) and how his actions contributed to Princess Diana’s (Emma Corrin) mental health. Fans went as far as reproaching Prince Charles and his lover, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. This eventually led their supporters to demand a show disclaimer stating it is only a work of fiction.

As the period drama moves towards its conclusion, the feelings involved in events it will cover might still be raw. Therefore, it is only valid that Staunton be concerned about the effect this may have on viewers. Those who remember the events of the first few seasons are few and far between. However, the more recent events still likely live on in the minds of those watching the show now. 

Previously reduced to five seasons, The Crown has confirmed that it would stick to its original plan of six outings. This gives Staunton the same run as the previous two actresses. The rest of the cast will also be switched out, with Elizabeth Debicki taking over as Princess Diana after Emma Corrin. Jonathan Pryce will take over as Prince Philip, and Lesley Manville will play as Princess Margaret. The rest of the cast remains to be seen, so does when exactly season 5 will premiere. Meanwhile, season 5 will begin filming in June 2021.