Following in royal footsteps! A multitude of actors have juggled portrayals of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Princess Margaret and other members of the British royal family during The Crown’s run.
The Netflix series premiered in November 2016 with Claire Foy taking on the role of the queen. The actress went on to win an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her two seasons of work on the drama. Olivia Colman then took over for seasons 3 and 4, garnering a Golden Globe of her own for the performance. Imelda Staunton will next embody the part for seasons 5 and 6.
The show follows the royal family through decades of Elizabeth’s reign — from the early years of her marriage to Philip to the introduction of Princess Diana.
Even as The Crown filmed flashbacks of drama within the monarchy, TV-worthy moments played out in the present day, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s step back from their roles as senior royals in March 2020.
“It’s not gonna go that far. No, I asked. [Creator] Peter [Morgan] said he’s not going that far,” actor Jared Harris exclusively told Us Weekly in February 2020 of whether the show would cover the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s resignations. “It was never gonna go this far though.”
Netflix initially announced in January 2020 that The Crown would end with season 5. However, the streaming platform picked up the series for an additional season in July 2020. Season 6 will not bring the show further into the present though.
“As we started to discuss the story lines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,” Morgan said in a statement.
Despite the fact that the cast has earned critical acclaim for their performances, the royal family is split on watching the series. For instance, Colman recalled asking Prince William whether he was a fan.
“He asked what I was doing at the moment before he quickly added, ‘Actually, I know what you’re doing,’” the Oscar winner explained during a November 2019 episode of The Graham Norton Show. “I was so excited and asked, ‘Have you watched it?’ His answer was a firm, ‘No.’ But he was very charming and very lovely.”
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Scroll down to see the cast of The Crown through the years!