The Crown fans, we’ve got some good news and some bad news. Let’s start with the positive item first: Imelda Staunton—decorated actress and, yes, a Harry Potter alum—will play the show’s final iteration of Queen Elizabeth II in Season 5. Unfortunately, Season 5 will also be the beloved Netflix series’ last.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty the Queen for the fifth and final season, taking The Crown into the 21st century,” creator Peter Morgan told Deadline. “Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.”
But then comes the rub: “At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons,” Morgan added, “but now that we have begun work on the stories for Season 5, 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.”
It will be fascinating to see what particular moment The Crown has chosen as its stopping point. The show’s third season, which aired last November, ended with Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee, which took place in 1977—and with two seasons to go, there’s plenty of ground left to cover. We do, however, already know that the series will not introduce Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. (Bummer.)
Either way, Staunton is excited about her new role. “I have loved watching The Crown from the very start,” she told Deadline in a statement. “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 honored to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.”