After several years of family drama and monarchal mayhem, the Netflix series “The Crown” will come to a close after five seasons, the series’s Twitter account said on Friday.
The announcement said that Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth II in the show’s final installment.
“I have loved watching ‘The Crown’ from the very start,” Ms. Staunton said in a statement that praised both actresses who previously played the queen, Claire Foy and Olivia Colman. “I am genuinely honored to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking the crown to its conclusion.”
“The Crown,” which debuted in 2016 and focuses on Queen Elizabeth’s II’s reign and family, was created by the writer and producer Peter Morgan. In a statement on Friday, he said that the time had come to end the series.
“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,” said Mr. Morgan, who also wrote the script for “The Queen,” the 2006 movie that earned Helen Mirren a best actress Oscar. “I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.”
Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix, said in a statement that she fully supported Mr. Morgan’s creative decision and that she was “excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of Season 5, bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end.”
The show has cost Netflix nearly $150 million, which is about twice as much as the royal family costs British tax payers each year, and putting together the story line is no easy task. It involves a team of researchers who once a week come to Mr. Morgan’s London home for script meetings, based in part on documents they have attained.
There is an expectation to “deliver TV on an annual basis, but what we’re making now is feature-film-quality stuff, and no one ever expected you to make 10 feature films a year — because you’d die,” he told The New York Times last November.
Regularly recasting the roles of Elizabeth, Philip and other royals in efforts to reflect their advancing ages, was always part of the plan. “I think that the longest you can believe an actor in an aging part is about 20 years,” Mr. Morgan said in November. “Right from the start, we decided that if it all worked and kept going, we would recast every two seasons.”
Ms. Foy famously kicked off the first two seasons, playing a young Elizabeth before she inherited the crown and in the early years of her transformation into a powerful global figure. Her star turn won a Golden Globe in 2017 and an Emmy in 2018.
In November, Netflix released the third season starring Ms. Colman as the queen in the 1960s and 1970s, navigating political and economic issues as well as handling complicated family dynamics with her eldest children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, and the death of her uncle and former king, Prince Edward. Ms. Colman, who won a Golden Globe this year for her performance, will continue in the role again in the fourth season.
Since the show began, it has been widely recognized, winning multiple awards at the Emmys, Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes, where it won in 2017 for best television drama.
A release date has not yet been announced for the fourth season, but it will cover Margaret Thatcher’s premiership and most likely will also include Prince Charles’s relationship with Princess Diana, as evidenced by paparazzi photos.
It was not immediately clear how far season five will go into the modern era of the royal family, especially the most recent news-grabbing headlines.
Last year, Prince Andrew was banished from public life by the queen after he gave a disastrous interview to the BBC about his ties to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who hanged himself in a Manhattan jail in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Earlier this month, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, unexpectedly announced their plans to “step back” from royal duties. They will lose most of the privileges and perks of royalty once they give up their full-time status and forsake Britain for an uncertain future in Canada and the United States.
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