The Crown to end after fifth series with Imelda Staunton in lead role

Imelda Staunton

The Crown will end after a fifth series, with Imelda Staunton playing Queen Elizabeth II.

The Netflix show, which has shown the British monarch's life from 1947 until 1977 so far over its three seasons, was expected to run for at least two more series, taking events close to the present day.

However, show creator Peter Morgan has announced that there will only be one more season after the fourth, which is currently in production, and it will show the royals in the 1980s.

"At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons," he explained in a statement. "But now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop. I'm grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision."

Cutting proceedings short will likely mean the show ends in the early 2000s rather than depicting present day events.

Morgan also confirmed reports that Staunton will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth from Olivia Colman for the fifth season, and predicted she will be "a fantastic successor" to the Oscar winner and Claire Foy, who originally played the character.

"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," Staunton said. "I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion."

Foy portrayed the monarch in seasons one and two, while Colman played her in season three and is reprising the role for season four.

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