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 return for a sixth season while revealing Imelda, 64, will take the role ‘into the 21st century.
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.
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)
‘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.
‘Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.’
Announcement: Imelda said she was ‘genuinely honoured to be taking The Crown to its conclusion’
Award-winning: Oscar-winner Olivia Colman is playing Queen Elizabeth II in series three and four of The Crown
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.’
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’.
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 enguled the Royals and resulted in his ‘sacking’