Netflix hit series 'The Crown' taps its new and last queen

'Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor'

NEW YORK (AP) — “The Crown,” Netflix's hit drama series about the British royal family, will end earlier than expected and has revealed its next and last queen.

Show creator and showrunner Peter Morgan had said he expected to create six seasons, but now thinks five is the “perfect time and place to stop.”

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Imelda Staunton has been tapped to be the last actress to play Queen Elizabeth II. She will take the crown in the fifth season from Olivia Colman, who, in turn, succeeded Claire Foy. “Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor,” Morgan said in a statement Friday.

FILE - This Oct. 19, 2019 file photo shows actress Imelda Staunton on the red carpet for the movie "Downton Abbey" at the Rome Film Fest in Rome. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)

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Staunton is an Olivier Award-winner whose films include “Vera Drake,” “Nanny McPhee” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” She played Lady Maud Bagshaw in the “Downton Abbey” movie.

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“The Crown” has won a Golden Globe for best TV drama and both Foy and Colman have won best actress Globes in the royal role. Season three arrived on Netflix in December.

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