The Crown’s reign is coming to an end earlier than expected – writer Peter Morgan has confirmed that the lavish Netflix drama will finish after just five seasons.
The creator of the hit show has also confirmed that Harry Potter star Imelda Staunton will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Olivia Colman for the final run.
“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,” Morgan told Deadline. “Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.”
He added: “At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons 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.”
“I have loved watching The Crown from the very start,” said Staunton, who is known for playing Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter franchise, and Lady Maud Bagshaw in the Downton Abbey movie.
“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 honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.”
Speaking in 2016, Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos said he imagined the show to continue for six seasons, “over six decades.”
Although many royal fans speculated the drama could portray current royal family turmoil – in particular Prince Harry's decision to step down as a senior royal – Morgan confirmed to EW he always imagined the series ending well before the present day.
The news of The Crown’s cancellation comes just two months after the third season of the show – starring Colman and Prince Phillip actor Tobias Menzies – was released on the streaming service. Both actors will reprise their roles for one more run of the show.
The Crown is currently available to stream on Netflix.