The Crown will end after its fifth season, with Imelda Staunton taking the throne as the critically-acclaimed show’s final Queen Elizabeth II.
Show creator Peter Morgan confirmed the Netflix drama – currently airing its third season with Olivia Colman in the regal role – would not include a sixth season while revealing Imelda, 64, will take the role ‘into the 21st century’.
This means that current Royal scandals including the allegations made against Prince Andrew as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘Mexit’ drama won’t be featured on the Netflix hit.
Taking the throne:The Crown will end after its fifth season, with Imelda Staunton taking the throne as the critically-acclaimed show’s final Queen Elizabeth II (pictured in Downton Abbey)
Harry Potter star Imelda said: ‘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.
‘I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.’
Series three of The Crown hit Netflix in November 2019, with Oscar-winner Olivia Colman taking the throne from Claire Foy, who portrayed the monarch in the first two seasons.
Peter said: ‘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.
Announcement: Imelda said she was ‘genuinely honoured to be taking The Crown to its conclusion’
Coronation: Claire Foy played a young Queen Elizabeth II as she ascended the throne following her late father’s death during seasons one and two
Award-winning: Oscar-winner Olivia Colman is playing Queen Elizabeth II in series three and four of The Crown
‘Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.’
He told The Sun: ‘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.’
New face: Imelda will succeed both Claire and Olivia to take on the role
Fans took to Twitter in the wake of the shock announcement, which happened on the day the UK leaves the EU, with one viewer writing: ‘Irony: #Brexit happens on the same day that the #Americanexperiment dies and they announce that #theCrown will be ending after season five. #Thegodsarenothappywithus… What?
Another wrote: ‘#TheCrown stopping at series 5!? What the heck was the point of Boris lying to the Queen to prorogue parliament, or Megxit, or indeed Prince Andrew at all? This is a terrible additional blow on #BrexitFriday…
A third typed: ‘WHAT DO THEY MEAN BY FIFTH AND FINAL SEASON OF THE CROWN?!?!?!…’ while another added: ‘Someone commission me to write what would’ve happened in The Crown Seasons 6 – 10….’
Debit: Claire and Matt Smith played Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip for the show’s critically acclaimed first two series
Reaction: Fans of the hit show took to Twitter after the shock announcement
Another wrote: ‘The crown is ending at season 5 WAT :(… I’m sure both S4 and S5 will be amazing, but I’m genuinely just gutted they’re not sticking to the intended six season format. #thecrown.’
The streaming service previously revealed that more than 73 million households have streamed at least part of show since it first launched in November 2016.
The third series followed events including the Aberfan mining disaster, the moon landing, the romance between Prince Charles and Camilla Shand and the investiture of Charles as the Prince of Wales.
Olivia portrays the Queen as she navigates her way through the 1960s and ’70s, a rapidly shifting cultural, political and economical landscape for the United Kingdom.
Royal couple: Olivia was joined in The Crown series three by Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip
Also appearing in the series are Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip, Helena as Princess Margaret, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, and Ben Daniels as Anthony Armstrong Jones, the Earl of Snowdon.
The fourth series is currently in production at Elstree Studios and locations across the UK and will see the introduction of Diana, Princess of Wales, played by Emma Corrin, and Margaret Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson.
It was initially thought the series would run for six series, spanning six decades.
Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix, said: ‘The first three seasons of The Crown defined an era, and I know the upcoming fourth season will build further on that success.
New guard: The fourth season, which will air in 2020, sees the addition of Emma Corrin as Princess Diana (L) and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher (R)
‘It’s a stunning example of award-winning entertainment, created in the UK and loved by millions of fans around the world.
‘I fully support Peter Morgan’s creative decision and am excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of season five, bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end.’
Key moments in the Royal Family’s history the show will not cover includes Meghan and Harry’s decision to step back as senior Royals.
Meghan and Harry rocked the foundations of the Royal Family when they announced their shock decision as they ‘work to become financially independent’.
Executive producer Suzanne Mackie shared earlier this month: ‘To be honest, whatever the life of ‘The Crown’ is after where we are now, I doubt we’ll ever go as far into the present day.’
Whilst Peter added back in 2018: ‘I feel uncomfortable writing about events within a certain time period. Let’s wait twenty years and see what there is to say about Meghan Markle.
‘I don’t know what there is to say about Meghan Markle at the moment. I wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t presume. She’ll only become interesting once we’ve had twenty years to digest who she is and what her impact has been.
‘If I were to write about Meghan Markle I would automatically be writing journalistically. I’ve got nothing to say about Meghan Markle.’
In a turbulent year for the House of Windsor Prince Andrew was also ‘sacked’ from all Royal duties by the Queen after a disastrous Newsnight interview about his years of friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Not to be: The fifth series will end before portraying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s sensational break from the Royal Family
Scandal: It will also not include Prince Andrew’s scandalous friendship with billionaire paedophile Epstein, which engulfed the Royals and resulted in his ‘sacking’
Pivotal moments from The Crown so far…
King Edward VIII abdicates the throne for love
Edward fell in love with Wallis Simpson, a married woman, and planned to marry her after his coronation when her divorce had come through.
However they were denied the opportunity to marry and due to divorce being forbidden for the Royals and decided to move to France together.
Edward later returned to England to face his family for the funeral of George VI following his death and went on to form a close bond with Prince Charles.
Bigger picture: King Edward VIII abdicates the throne for love
Princess Margaret is also denied her happy ending
Princess Margaret, who is painted as the Royal rebel throughout the first and second seasons, hoped to step outside tradition and marry divorcee Peter Townsend.
However growing public chatter over the illicit relationship begins to overshadow Elizabeth’s post coronation fame.
Margaret makes her intentions to marry Peter clear to Queen Elizabeth II and she asks her to wait until she is 25 to tie the knot with her love.
However when her 25th birthday does roll around the Queen has to go back on her word due to pressure from the Crown, and tells Margaret that she cannot grant her permission to marry Peter.
Devastated: Princess Margaret is denied her happy ending with Peter Townsend
Winston Churchill’s rise and fall
The first and second seasons depicted the Queen’s relationship with the Prime Minister of the time, Winston Churchill.
Following his successful leadership during the Second World War, Winston rises to power again for a second time during Elizabeth’s reign.
The Crown follows Winston’s journey as he adjusts to answering to a woman in power and his deteriorating health.
Royal marriage is rocked Elizabeth’s new role
The power struggle in the relationship is clear to see as Elizabeth’s role as the Queen takes priority over her marriage, while Prince Philip isn’t used to taking a backseat.
The Crown also hints at infidelity in their relationship as Elizabeth finds a picture of Russian ballerina Galina Ulanova among his possessions, before sending him off on a five-month tour on the Royal yacht.
The tension comes to a head during the premiere for season two when the Royal couple argue on board the HMY Britannia as they strive to find a resolution to their problems, due to divorce not being an option for a monarch.
Trouble in paradise: Royal marriage is rocked Elizabeth’s new role
Elizabeth’s journey to accepting the Crown
The start of the series shows a more wary and shy Elizabeth, compared to the formidable monarch she has grown into.
One of the key moments in the first series is her journey to accepting the Crown, after having to reconfigure all of the relationships in her life.
The series shows the Queen growing in confidence as she finds herself on a path of self-discovery.
The Queen visits Aberfan
Aberfan: After reflecting on her decision, she eventually visited alongside her husband and it is claimed her delayed response remains one of her greatest regrets
Episode three of the third season focuses on the Aberfan disaster which killed 144 people, including 116 childrne, after a colliery spoil tip collapsed over a school in a Welsh village.
The Queen did not immediately visit the disaster site, citing that she did not want to distract away from the tragedy with her presence.
However after reflecting on her decision, she eventually visited alongside her husband and it is claimed her delayed response remains one of her greatest regrets.
The Royal Family documentary
Inside the life: In a bid to give the public a better understanding of the Royal family they let a camera crew into their lives for 18 months
In a bid to give the public a better understanding of the Royal family they let a camera crew into their lives for 18 months.
The Crown depicts the whole thing as a disaster with the family reportedly banning the programme from ever being aired again.
However in actuality, the documentary was well-received and had sky high viewing figures.
Prince Charles valuable time in Wales
Touching: Prince Charles valuable time in Wales
After receiving backlash for the title ‘Prince of Wales’, despite not being a citizen or speaking the language, Prince Charles was sent to Aberystwyth University to learn the language.
Charles, who was 20 at the time, finished the trip with an elaborate investiture to pledge his allegiance to the Queen in Welsh.
However he asked to tweak the speech to add in his own voice, promising the Welsh residents that they wouldn’t be forgotten by England again.
Princess Margaret wows at the White House
She impressed! After being sent on a Royal tour of the U.S. in place of her sister, Margaret was invited to dinner at the White House by President Lyndon B. Johnson
After being sent on a Royal tour of the U.S. in place of her sister, Margaret was invited to dinner at the White House by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The whole night appeared a huge success thanks to Margaret’s quick-wit and charm, with President Johnson seemingly lapping it up.
However across the pond Margaret’s success appeared to worry the Queen as she seemed concerned she was being outshone by her sibling.