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The Crown’s Imelda Staunton gets into character as Queen Elizabeth II for series 5 filming debut

Imelda Staunton was pictured on the set of The Crown series 5 for the first time on Monday as she got stuck into her role as Queen Elizabeth II. 

The actress, 65, wore a green two-piece under a padded jacket and cosy Hunter boots between takes before boarding a royal boat in Macduff, Scotland. 

The Queen famously arrived in Macduff on August 4, 1961 alongside Prince Philip via the Royal Britannia – but series five covers the monarch’s reign from the 1990s-2003, with Imelda appearing to recreate a 2003 royal visit to Belfast.

Imelda’s hair had been styled into the Queen’s signature curls and was held in place with a blue hat and a pink hairnet and she carried a Thermos flask in order to keep warm. 

There she is: Imelda Staunton was pictured on the set of The Crown series 5 for the first time on Monday as she got stuck into her role as Queen Elizabeth

She was seen climbing into a boat and donning a life jacket alongside her co-stars on the River Deveron in scenes that were shot just days after the very first image of the esteemed actress in character was revealed by Netflix.  

Actor Andrew Havill was also spotted filming in a sleek grey suit, although his role in the new series has yet to be announced. 

Last week, the Press and Journal reported that residents of four streets in the Aberdeenshire town received a letter last week to notify them that cast and crew would be arriving on August 2 to shoot at the harbour. 

The letter, from the location manager and location assistant from the show’s fifth season, said they have been liaising with Aberdeen County Council.

They added they ‘aimed to make the day run as smoothly as possible, causing as little inconvenience to residences and businesses in the area as possible.’ 

Now and then: Series five covers the monarch's reign from the 1990s-2003, with Imelda appearing to recreate the monarch's 2003 royal visit to Belfast

Back then: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Belfast in 2003  to open the £30m Laganside court complex

Now and then: Series five covers the monarch’s reign from the 1990s-2003, with Imelda appearing to recreate the monarch’s 2003 royal visit to Belfast (pictured right)

Life jacket: The actress, 65, wore a green two-piece under a padded jacket and cosy Hunter boots between takes before boarding a royal boat in Macduff, Scotland

Life jacket: The actress, 65, wore a green two-piece under a padded jacket and cosy Hunter boots between takes before boarding a royal boat in Macduff, Scotland

Off she goes: Imelda's hair had been styled into the Queen's signature curls and was held in place with a blue hat and a pink hairnet and she carried a Thermos flask in order to keep warm

Off she goes: Imelda’s hair had been styled into the Queen’s signature curls and was held in place with a blue hat and a pink hairnet and she carried a Thermos flask in order to keep warm

Helping hand: Imelda was helped into the boat by a crew member as she prepared to film

Helping hand: Imelda was helped into the boat by a crew member as she prepared to film

Transformed: The star looked unrecognisable as she prepared to film

Transformed: The star looked unrecognisable as she prepared to film

MacDuff was originally known as the ‘sea toune’ of Doune but initial attempts to develop the site as a seaport failed.

Economic growth came in 1783 when James Duff, Lord Macduff and 2nd Earl of Fife, built a harbour and changed the settlement’s name to Macduff.    

The Queen and Prince Philip visited Belfast in February 2003 for a one-day tour where they enjoyed a boat ride along the River Lagan and opened  the £30m Laganside court complex. 

New queen; Imelda wore a cap over her wig and trainers as she strolled

New queen; Imelda wore a cap over her wig and trainers as she strolled

On the boat: Imelda got into character as she chatted with crew members

On the boat: Imelda got into character as she chatted with crew members

Sail away: The star got into character as she walked towards the boat

Sail away: The star got into character as she walked towards the boat 

Help: Actor Andrew Havill, whose role has not been announced, was seen being helped aboard ahead of filming

Help: Actor Andrew Havill, whose role has not been announced, was seen being helped aboard ahead of filming 

Best angle: A camera was set up on the shore to get shots of the boat

Best angle: A camera was set up on the shore to get shots of the boat 

Good times: Actors were seen chatting on board the boat before a take

Good times: Actors were seen chatting on board the boat before a take

Throwback: An actress was seen dressed in a red jacket and patterned dress ahead of filming

Throwback: An actress was seen dressed in a red jacket and patterned dress ahead of filming

The sighting comes as the Netflix show took to Twitter on Friday to upload a snap of the actress dressed as the monarch as she prepares to take over the regal role from current Queen actress Olivia Colman. 

Alongside the image, The Crown’s official Twitter account simply wrote: ‘An early glimpse of our new Queen Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton.’  

Imelda perfectly portrayed the monarch in the first look snap, donning a smart shirt with a bow on the front of the collar.

Scenic: The  boat sailed away as filming commenced on the day

Scenic: The  boat sailed away as filming commenced on the day

Rule Britannia: The boat was decked out with a Union Jack flag

Rule Britannia: The boat was decked out with a Union Jack flag 

Harbour: A large group of crew members gathered ahead of filming

Harbour: A large group of crew members gathered ahead of filming 

Escorted: The boat sailed off as filming commenced on the new series

Escorted: The boat sailed off as filming commenced on the new series

Off it goes: The boat made for a scenic sight as it recreated the 2003 visit

Off it goes: The boat made for a scenic sight as it recreated the 2003 visit 

Dapper: Andrew was seen making his way down the steps ahead of filming

Dapper: Andrew was seen making his way down the steps ahead of filming

The real deal: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are seen disembarking from a boat in Belfast in 2003

The real deal: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are seen disembarking from a boat in Belfast in 2003

She wore her greying locks in curls and even sported a slight touch of red lipstick as well as a set of pearls around her neck.

Also joining The Crown newcomer in series five is Lesley Manville, 64, who is set to star as Princess Margaret and Jonathan Pryce, 73, will take over the role of Prince Philip for the seasons showing the Royals navigating the 1990s and early 2000s.

The Queen’s younger sister has previously been played by Helena Bonham Carter and Vanessa Kirby. While Tobias Menzies, 47, and Matt Smith, 38, have portrayed past versions of the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Her Royal Highness: The very first image of Imelda Staunton in character as Queen Elizabeth II was revealed on Friday

Her Royal Highness: The very first image of Imelda Staunton in character as Queen Elizabeth II was revealed on Friday

Big role: Imelda is the next actress to take over the role as the Queen, following on from Olivia Colman and Claire Foy (pictured in 2020)

Big role: Imelda is the next actress to take over the role as the Queen, following on from Olivia Colman and Claire Foy (pictured in 2020)

Poignant portrayal: The final two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family's history throughout the 1990s and into 2003, however it is not yet know which moments will be seen

Speculation: There are several poignant moments which could be used, including the Queen making a speech on her 40th anniversary of her accession in 1992, in which she called the year an 'annus horriblis'

Poignant portrayal: The final two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family’s history throughout the 1990s and into 2003, however it is not yet know which moments will be seen

Filming on series 5 will involve following strict Covid rules, however the UK is hoping to ease restrictions throughout the summer with some measures already changing.

The final two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family’s history throughout the 1990s and into 2003, however it is not yet know which moments will be seen.

There are several poignant moments which could be used, including the Queen making a speech on her 40th anniversary of her accession in 1992, in which she called the year an ‘annus horriblis’.

She was referring to the breakdown of three of her children’s marriages; Prince Andrew, Princess Anne’s and Prince Charles’ divorce from Princess Diana.

Reigning: Olivia Colman is currently in the role of The Queen but will bow out in series 5 when Imelda takes over

Reigning: Olivia Colman is currently in the role of The Queen but will bow out in series 5 when Imelda takes over 

Original: Claire Foy portrayed the monarch in the first two series (pictured in 2016)

Original: Claire Foy portrayed the monarch in the first two series (pictured in 2016)

Other notable events during the time period included a fire at Windsor Castle, her golden wedding anniversary in 1997, and the deaths of Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother and the Princess of Wales.

Speaking about joining the hit show, Imelda admitted she is ‘frightened’ to take on the Queen Elizabeth role in The Crown.

The 65-year-old actress is following on from Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, but says she has an ‘extra challenge’ playing a recent version as it will be fresh in the audiences mind.

Speaking to The Sun, Imelda said: ‘When Claire was in the first series, to all of us that felt like history. Then following on from that with Olivia, again it seems like history.

Congrats! Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret in The Crown

Pictured: Princess Margaret at an official royal engagement in 1966

Congrats! Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret (right in 1966) for the fifth and sixth seasons of The Crown

‘Now we start in 1991 playing someone much more recent. That’s the extra challenge I have, people saying, “Oh, I don’t think she’s like that at all”‘.

Many members of the series four cast have also joked that they won’t be giving any advice to their successors. Oscar-winning actress Olivia said recently: ‘I haven’t spoken to Imelda and I wouldn’t dare offer any advice about playing the Queen.

‘Imelda is extraordinary and she’s going to do it all much better than me. I can’t wait to watch what she does.’

The Crown lovers took to Twitter to react to the news. 

One wrote: ‘Gonna miss this Queen [Olivia Colman] but I’m sure Imelda will do a brilliant job. My time with the crown is done, some of last seasons cast and this seasons were just not it for me. Good luck to everyone involved tho.’

One fan simply penned: ‘perfection’ with another calling the new line-up ‘very strong’. 

Reaction: The Crown lovers took to Twitter to react to the news that series 5 filming has begun

Reaction: The Crown lovers took to Twitter to react to the news that series 5 filming has begun

Positive response: One fan simply penned 'perfection' with another calling the new line-up 'very strong'

Positive response: One fan simply penned ‘perfection’ with another calling the new line-up ‘very strong’

WHO HAS PLAYED QUEEN ELIZABETH II IN THE CROWN? 

CLAIRE FOY – Series 1 and 2 (2016-2017)

Claire portrayed the Queen in the early part of her reign, from her wedding to Philip in 1947 to events leading up to 1964. 

Claire portrayed the Queen in the early part of her reign, from her wedding to Philip in 1947 to events leading up to 1964

Claire pictured above in 2014 at the Very Ralph premiere

Claire portrayed the Queen in the early part of her reign, from her wedding to Philip in 1947 to events leading up to 1964 

OLIVIA COLMAN – Series 3 and 4 (2019-2020)

Olivia took over the role in 2019 and played out events from 1964 onwards, such as the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

She played out 26 years of the Queen’s reign, ending in the year 1990 before Imenda will step in for the rest of the 90s.

Olivia took over the role in 2019 and played out events from 1964 onwards, such as the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II

Olivia pictured above in February at the Golden Globe Awards

Olivia took over the role in 2019 and played out events from 1964 onwards, such as the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II 

IMELDA STAUNTON – Series 5 (2022-)

Imelda will replace Olivia for series 5 of the hit series.

The final two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family’s history throughout the 1990s and into 2003, however it is not yet know which moments will be seen. 

Poignant portrayal: The final two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family's history throughout the 1990s and into 2003, however it is not yet know which moments will be seen

Speculation: There are several poignant moments which could be used, including the Queen making a speech on her 40th anniversary of her accession in 1992, in which she called the year an 'annus horriblis'

Poignant portrayal: The final two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family’s history throughout the 1990s and into 2003, however it is not yet know which moments will be seen

While Josh, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Charles, also appeared to confirm his successor is The Affair star Dominic West – and joked he’d ‘laugh him off’ if the 51-year-old approached him for advice in an interview with GQ.

He said: ‘Playing that character has brought me a lot of joy. But it’s lovely to come away and go, “Great. Now hand it over to Dominic West” … But if Dominic West came to me asking me for advice, I’d laugh him off. I’d be like, “Dom! You’re Dominic West!”‘

The Crown has covered controversies from Royal affairs to family feuds but it’s conveniently going to end in the early 2000s and miss of perhaps some of the most controversial storylines of all.

Harry's off the hook! The Crown has covered controversies from Royal affairs to family feuds but it's conveniently going to end in the early 2000s and miss of perhaps some of the most controversial storylines of all

Harry’s off the hook! The Crown has covered controversies from Royal affairs to family feuds but it’s conveniently going to end in the early 2000s and miss of perhaps some of the most controversial storylines of all

The Royal drama won’t be covering Prince Harry’s wild years and Megxit because recent events haven’t had enough time to ‘gain a proper perspective’, an executive producer has confirmed.

Suzanna Mackie revealed that the Royal drama will come to an end in the early 2000s, when Prince Harry and William were just teenagers, meaning Harry’s past behavior will be avoided by the creators.

Speaking to Broadcast earlier this month, the producer, 35, claimed the Netflix show’s creator Peter Morgan ‘simply can’t’ write another season because recent history hasn’t ‘had time to gain a proper perspective’. 

She explained: ‘Peter has said it very articulately, that he simply can’t write something unless there has been time to gain a proper perspective.’ 

Suzanne also reflected on the fact that Peter likes to leave a decade between The Crown’s plot lines and current modern life. 

Moving on: Suzanna Mackie revealed that the Royal drama will come to an end in the early 2000s, when Prince Harry and William were just teenagers, meaning Harry's past behavior will be avoided by the creators (pictured in 2002)

Moving on: Suzanna Mackie revealed that the Royal drama will come to an end in the early 2000s, when Prince Harry and William were just teenagers, meaning Harry’s past behavior will be avoided by the creators (pictured in 2002)

Final season: The Crown creator Peter Morgan will end the show after season six because the plot is too close to present day, executive producer Suzanne Mackie confirmed this month

Final season: The Crown creator Peter Morgan will end the show after season six because the plot is too close to present day, executive producer Suzanne Mackie confirmed this month

She explained: ‘I think he’s [Peter] always felt 10 years is the minimum amount of time that he can see something in a historical context, to allow him to really understand it. I don’t think he’ll deviate from that.

The executive producer continued: ‘We all know these stories, but what Peter does so brilliantly is get underneath that, and understand the landscape in a more nuanced, complex, surprising way.’

The Crown insider then explained that if the show’s script gets too close to present day events she fears the plot will start to feel contrived. 

Choice: Susanne added Peter 'simply can't' write another script because recent history hasn't 'had time to gain a proper perspective' (Emma Corrin and Josh O'Connor pictured in show)

Choice: Susanne added Peter ‘simply can’t’ write another script because recent history hasn’t ‘had time to gain a proper perspective’ (Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor pictured in show) 

Praise: The executive producer (pictured in 2019) added: 'What Peter does so brilliantly is get underneath that, and understand the landscape in a more nuanced, complex, surprising way'

Praise: The executive producer (pictured in 2019) added: ‘What Peter does so brilliantly is get underneath that, and understand the landscape in a more nuanced, complex, surprising way’

Peter also previously expressed his relief at not having to write about recent events regarding the Riyals.

He told T&C: ‘The Meghan and Harry story is nowhere near over yet. And I’m happy that I’m never going to write it.’

Despite the show’s success, Suzanne said she agreed with Peter’s decision and thought it was definitely time to move on from the popular show. 

Preference: Suzanne also reflected on the fact that Peter likes to leave a decade between The Crown's plot lines and current modern life

Preference: Suzanne also reflected on the fact that Peter likes to leave a decade between The Crown’s plot lines and current modern life

Reflecting on casting Emma Corrin as Diana, Princess of Wales, in season four,  Suzanne claimed it was one of her proudest career highlights.  

Emma was originally brought to the show to help out while Emerald Fennell ran her lines as Camilla Parker-Bowles. 

But after the young actress impressed executives at the read-through they gave her a screen test and realised ‘that might be Diana’. 

Executive producer Suzanne Mackie shared earlier this year: ‘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.’ 

Shining star: Suzanne also gushed that casting Emma (pictured) as Princess Diana in season four of the show was one of her proudest career highlights

Shining star: Suzanne also gushed that casting Emma (pictured) as Princess Diana in season four of the show was one of her proudest career highlights

Key moments in the Royal Family’s history the show will not cover includes Harry’s romance with Meghan Markle and the couple’s decision to step back as senior Royals.

Meghan and Harry rocked the foundations of the Royal Family in 2020 when they announced their shock decision as they ‘work to become financially independent’.

In an extraordinary statement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they wanted to ‘carve out a progressive new role’ and ‘step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family’.

What you WON’T see – the key Royal moments that will be skipped as The Crown comes to an end in the early 2000s 

  • HARRY, MEGHAN AND MEGXIT   
Harry's off the hook! Key moments in the Royal Family's history the show will not cover includes Harry's romance with Meghan Markle and the couple's decision to step back as senior Royals

Harry’s off the hook! Key moments in the Royal Family’s history the show will not cover includes Harry’s romance with Meghan Markle and the couple’s decision to step back as senior Royals

Meghan and Harry rocked the foundations of the Royal Family in 2020 when they announced their shock decision as they ‘work to become financially independent’.

In an extraordinary statement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they wanted to ‘carve out a progressive new role’ and ‘step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family’.

 HARRY’S NAZI SHAME  

In 2005, he caused major controversy as the then 20-year-old Prince was widely condemned for wearing a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika armband, to a fancy dress party. 

Images of Harry, pictured holding a drink and a cigarette caused ‘public outrage’, with the young Prince forced to issue and apology. 

BOMBSHELL OPRAH INTERVIEW 

The show will of course skip the latest controversy surrounding the Royal family – Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they made a number of claims about ‘the firm’. 

Claims included allegations of racism aimed towards their son Archie, while it was also said that Meghan’s pleas for help were ignored when she was suicidal.

Skipped: Harry and Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they made a number of claims about 'the firm', will be missed

Skipped: Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they made a number of claims about ‘the firm’, will be missed

PRINCE ANDREW’S EPSTEIN SCANDAL

In a turbulent time 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.  

Prince Andrew was also alleged to have had sex with then 17-year-old Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre, and has denied any wrongdoing.

Scandal: It will also not include Prince Andrew's scandalous friendship with billionaire paedophile Epstein, which engulfed the Royals and resulted in his 'sacking'

Scandal: It will also not include Prince Andrew’s scandalous friendship with billionaire paedophile Epstein, which engulfed the Royals and resulted in his ‘sacking’

CHARLES AND CAMILLA’S MARRIAGE 

The latter years will notably skip Charles’ relationship with Camilla following Diana’s death in 1997.

The couple were photographed publicly together for the first time in two years later 1999, though they had tried to keep their rekindled romance out of the public eye amid the huge outpouring of grief over Diana.

Charles and Camilla moved in together in 2003, announced their engagement in 2005 and went on to tie the knot at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in April that year. 

Love: The latter years will notably skip Charles' relationship with Camilla following Diana's death in 1997 (Charles and Camilla on their wedding day in April 2005)

Love: The latter years will notably skip Charles’ relationship with Camilla following Diana’s death in 1997 (Charles and Camilla on their wedding day in April 2005)

 

They said they wanted to balance their time between the UK and North America, ‘continuing to honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages’.

Since their exit, the couple first moved to Canada before later settling in an £11m mansion in Montecito in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles.

They’ve since welcomed a daughter Lilibet Diana, a baby sister to their son Archie Harrison, two.

But while Harry’s life as a loving husband and father will be skipped, his wild partying days will also not be aired, which will no doubt come as a relief to the Duke.

Most notably, his 2005 controversy in which the then 20-year-old Prince was widely condemned for wearing a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika armband, to a fancy dress party.

Not to be: It’s thought the sixth series will end before portraying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s sensational break from the Royal Family (pictured October 2019)

Images of Harry, pictured holding a drink and a cigarette caused ‘public outrage’, with the young Prince forced to issue and apology. 

His actions sparked angry condemnation from politicians, anti-fascist groups and Jewish human rights organisations. 

In a statement, he said: ‘I’m very sorry if I caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise.’ 

With The Crown ending in the early 2000s, the show will of course skip the latest controversy surrounding the Royal family – Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they made a number of claims about ‘the firm’. 

Claims included allegations of racism aimed towards their son Archie, while it was also said that Meghan’s pleas for help were ignored when she was suicidal.

Missed: With The Crown ending in the early 2000s, the show will of course miss Harry and Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they made a number of claims about 'the firm'

Missed: With The Crown ending in the early 2000s, the show will of course miss Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they made a number of claims about ‘the firm’

Outrage: In 2005, Harry caused major controversy as the then 20-year-old Prince was widely condemned for wearing a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika armband, to a fancy dress party (pictured in 2005)

Outrage: In 2005, Harry caused major controversy as the then 20-year-old Prince was widely condemned for wearing a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika armband, to a fancy dress party (pictured in 2005)

In a turbulent time 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. 

Prince Andrew was also alleged to have had sex with then 17-year-old Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre, and has strenuously denied any wrongdoing. 

Meanwhile, with the current series of The Crown largely focusing on the love triangle between Charles, Diana and Camilla, the latter years will notably skip Charles’ relationship with Camilla following Diana’s death in 1997.

The couple were photographed publicly together for the first time in two years later 1999, though they had tried to keep their rekindled romance out of the public eye amid the huge outpouring of grief over Diana.

Key historical moments involving the Royal Family between 1999 and 2003

1999: The marriage of the Queen’s son Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex: The wedding took place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. 

2000: The Queen celebrates the Millennium: Millennium celebrations take place throughout the UK. The Millennium Dome in London is officially opened by HM The Queen on January 1.    

2001: Queen Elizabeth reacts to 9/11 terrorist attacks: A week after the tragedy she sent a message to the British ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer to offer her condolences. 

She wrote: ‘Each and every one of us has been shocked and numbed by what we have witnessed in these recent days. 

‘At your service today, we think especially of the British victims. These are dark and harrowing times for families and friends of those who are missing or who suffered in the attack – many of you here today. 

‘My thoughts and my prayers are with you all now and in the difficult days ahead’. 

On September 13 The Queen ordered the Changing of the Guard ceremony to be paused for a two minute silence, followed by the playing of the American national anthem. 

2002: The Queen’s Golden Jubilee: The Queen celebrated the milestone on February 6 and it was an international event to mark the 50th anniversary of her ascension to the throne. 

On June 4, an estimated one million people headed to central London to line The Mall on the last day of the official celebrations.

Queen guitarist Brian May played ‘God Save The Queen’ from the roof of Buckingham Palace in her honour. 

2002: The Queen dines at 10 Downing Street with the five living former Prime Ministers who served under her. She met with Tony Blair, John Major, Margaret Thatcher, James Callaghan and Edward Heath.

2002: The death of Princess Margaret: The Queen’s younger sister dies after suffering a stroke aged 71. The pair had had a troubled relationship after The Queen said she couldn’t marry her love Peter Townsend. 

2002: The Queen Mother dies: She passed away aged 101 at Royal Lodge Windsor. 

Scandal: It will also not include Prince Andrew's scandalous friendship with billionaire paedophile Epstein, which engulfed the Royals and resulted in his 'sacking'

Scandal: It will also not include Prince Andrew’s scandalous friendship with billionaire paedophile Epstein, which engulfed the Royals and resulted in his ‘sacking’

Shocking: Prince Andrew was also alleged to have had sex with then 17-year-old Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre, and has strenuously denied any wrongdoing (Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, aged 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ghislaine Maxwell's townhouse in London in 2001)

Shocking: Prince Andrew was also alleged to have had sex with then 17-year-old Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre, and has strenuously denied any wrongdoing (Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, aged 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ghislaine Maxwell’s townhouse in London in 2001)

It is said that Camilla was first introduced to William in 1998, though Harry was not present. Camilla later accompanied Charles and the boys on a trip to Greece in 1999.

Charles and Camilla moved in together in 2003, announced their engagement in 2005 and went on to tie the knot at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in April that year.

The Crown’s wrapping up of the Royal saga in the early 2000s comes after Harry and Meghan signed a mega bucks deal streaming service Netflix last year, worth a whopping £112m.

Love: With the current series of The Crown largely focusing on the love triangle between Charles, Diana and Camilla, the latter years will notably skip Charles' relationship with Camilla following Diana's death in 1997 (Charles and Camilla on their wedding day in April 2005)

Love: With the current series of The Crown largely focusing on the love triangle between Charles, Diana and Camilla, the latter years will notably skip Charles’ relationship with Camilla following Diana’s death in 1997 (Charles and Camilla on their wedding day in April 2005)

The production company, Archewell productions, will see documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming made for the streaming giant.

The couple currently have one production in the works, Heart of Invictus, which will be a multi-episode documentary series about the Invictus Games – the international tournament for wounded soldiers which the Prince founded in 2014.  

Netflix announced last July that The Crown will air for six series after originally being confirmed to end with season five.

Kerching: The Crown's wrapping up of the Royal saga in the early 2000s comes after Harry and Meghan signed a mega bucks deal streaming service Netflix last year, worth a whopping £112m

Kerching: The Crown’s wrapping up of the Royal saga in the early 2000s comes after Harry and Meghan signed a mega bucks deal streaming service Netflix last year, worth a whopping £112m

Creator Peter Morgan revealed he decided to ‘return to the original plan,’ meaning Imelda will now appear for two series as an older Queen Elizabeth II instead of the planned one.

In recent times, The Crown has faced mounting criticism from politicians, Royal experts and friends of Charles for fabricating a string of controversial incidents. 

In December last year, Netflix broke its silence on the controversy over the series, insisting there was no need to warn its millions of viewers that key scenes are invented.

The streaming giant claimed it was widely understood the hit series was a ‘work of fiction’ based on historical events. 

And it wrote to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, rejecting his suggestion that a disclaimer at the start of each episode would be helpful.

Controversy:  In recent times, The Crown has faced mounting criticism from politicians, Royal experts and friends of Charles for fabricating a string of controversial incidents (pictured Emma Corrin as Princess Diana)

Controversy:  In recent times, The Crown has faced mounting criticism from politicians, Royal experts and friends of Charles for fabricating a string of controversial incidents (pictured Emma Corrin as Princess Diana)

In a public statement on the controversy, Netflix told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We have always presented The Crown as a drama, and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events. 

‘As a result, we have no plans – and see no need – to add a disclaimer.’ 

But the statement was described by one critic as ‘arrogant’. Others said the company’s intransigence was adding to the Royal Family’s disquiet over the affair.

Netflix has been accused of escalating the row by urging viewers to watch an explosive documentary about Princess Diana which it said would provide ‘answers’ to criticism of The Crown. 

Backlash: In December last year, Netflix broke its silence on the controversy over the series, insisting there was no need to warn its millions of viewers that key scenes are invented (pictured Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles)

Backlash: In December last year, Netflix broke its silence on the controversy over the series, insisting there was no need to warn its millions of viewers that key scenes are invented (pictured Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles)

Its tweet promoting the documentary – Diana: In Her Own Words – led to vicious online attacks on Prince Charles and Camilla.

The Queen’s former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, accused Netflix of getting trolls ‘to do their dirty work for them’.

In January 2020 it was previously announced that The Crown would end after its fifth series, with series four, airing late last year.

Peter said: ‘As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons.’ 

There's more? The Crown will air for six series after originally being confirmed to end with season five (Olivia Colman pictured as Queen Elizabeth II in series 3)

There’s more? The Crown will air for six series after originally being confirmed to end with season five (Olivia Colman pictured as Queen Elizabeth II in series 3)

The news was announced by Netflix on their Twitter account, as they wrote: ‘News from the palace: we can confirm there will be a sixth (and final) season of @TheCrownNetflix, in addition to the previously announced five!’

The streaming service then clarified that fans will still have one more series featuring the current cast, including Olivia Colman and Helen Bonham Carter, with an older range of stars taking over in series five.  

In the fifth series Lesley Manville will take over the role of Princess Margaret from Helena Bonham Carter.

Exciting: The news was announced by Netflix on Twitter, along with the statement from creator Peter Morgan, who said they 'went back to the original plan'

Exciting: The news was announced by Netflix on Twitter, along with the statement from creator Peter Morgan, who said they ‘went back to the original plan’

Royally good: Imelda Staunton (appearing in Downton Abbey) is to play the Queen in the final two series

Royally good: Queen Elizabeth II attending the ballet at the Festival Hall in London on 1st June 1964

Royally good: Imelda Staunton is to play the Queen in The Crown’s final two series. The 63-year-old will take over the role of Elizabeth II for seasons five and six of the Netflix drama

Portrayal: The star, who is believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen's younger sister during one of the 'darkest periods of her life' (pictured 1995)

Portrayal: The star, who is believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen’s younger sister during one of the ‘darkest periods of her life’ (pictured 1995)

She was believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen’s younger sister during one of the ‘darkest periods of her life.’

The role was also taken on by Vanessa Kirby in season one and two, documenting the early years of Princess Margaret’s marriage to Anthony Armstrong Jones.

Netflix previously revealed that more than 73 million households have streamed at least part of show since it first launched in November 2016.

Award-winning: Oscar-winner Olivia is playing Queen Elizabeth II in series three and four of The Crown

Amazing: She is the spitting image of the Queen herself (pictured above with the pets in 1970)

Award-winning: Oscar-winner Olivia (L) is playing Queen Elizabeth II (pictured right in 1964) in series three and four of The Crown 

Coronation: Claire Foy played a young Queen Elizabeth II as she ascended the throne following her late father's death

Coronation: Claire Foy played a young Queen Elizabeth II (pictured in 1955) as she ascended the throne following her late father's death

Coronation: Claire Foy (L) played a young Queen Elizabeth II (pictured right in 1955) as she ascended the throne following her late father’s death during seasons one and two 

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. 

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.    

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.

Peter previously 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.’

Icon: Emma Corrin will debut in series four as Princess Dian

Controversial: Gillian Anderson will play Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

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)

When The Crown was first announced, it was thought the series would run for six series, spanning six decades, and cover The Royal Family’s history up to 2003.

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. 

‘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.’

It comes after it was revealed last week that The Crown bosses have cast Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major in the upcoming series. 

In the ‘surprise’ casting, Netflix chiefs revealed the Trainspotting star, 48, who is rumoured to have rekindled his romance with ex Angelina Jolie, will play the Tory Prime Minister, who was in charge of the country from November 1990 and May 1997.

Shock: It comes after it was revealed last week that The Crown bosses Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major last week (pictured in Elementary)

Shock: It comes after it was revealed last week that The Crown bosses Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major last week (pictured in Elementary)

He followed on from Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, with The Iron Lady played by Gillian Anderson in the wildly-popular Netflix period drama.

Insiders told The Sun: ‘It may seem like an unlikely casting as the two men couldn’t be more different, but the creators of the Crown aren’t interested in an actor playing a version of themselves.

‘It was a similar idea to when Sex Education star Gillian Anderson was cast as Margaret Thatcher in the last series of The Crown, a decision which surprised fans of the show at the time.

‘But at 48, Jonny is actually the perfect age to play Sir John, who became PM at the age of 47 after Maggie was removed from power.’ 

Former PM: Sir John was Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher from 1987 to 1990 (pictured in 2015)

Former PM: Sir John was Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher from 1987 to 1990 (pictured in 2015)

Jonny, pictured in 2010

Prime Minister John Major, pictured in 1994

Insiders told The Sun: ‘It may seem like an unlikely casting as the two men couldn’t be more different, but the creators of the Crown aren’t interested in an actor playing a version of themselves’

Sir John was Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher from 1987 to 1990.

Major entered politics at a young age, standing as a young Conservative for Lambeth Council at the age of 21 and became chairman of the Housing Committee.

He then stood for Parliament twice in St Pancras from 1974 and lost, before winning in Huntingdonshire in 1979.

The politician became a minister in 1985 and became a part of the Cabinet in 1987 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury before being promoted to Foreign Secretary in 1989, and shortly after he was named Chancellor. 

Major replaced Mrs Thatcher in 1990 after winning a leadership contest which she dropped out of. 

Politician: Major replaced Mrs Thatcher in 1990 after winning a leadership contest which she dropped out of (pictured in 1990)

Politician: Major replaced Mrs Thatcher in 1990 after winning a leadership contest which she dropped out of (pictured in 1990)

A Tale of Two Johnny’s 

Jonny Lee Miller

Born: Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey 

Known for: Acting for nearly 40 years in Film, TV and Theatre, with most notable roles in Trainspotting, Elementary, Hackers

Romances: Married to Angelina Jolie from 1996 to 1999, also previously married to Michele Hicks from 2008 to 2018. 

Children: One son, Buster Timothy Miller, 13, with ex-wife Michele. 

Accolades: Miller won a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in Frankenstein at the National Theatre in 2012. 

He was also nominated for a BAFTA in 2007 for The Flying Scotsman. 

Sir John Major 

Born: Carshalton, Surrey

Known for: Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher from 1987 to 1990

Romances: Major has been married to wife Norma Johnson since 1970. 

Children: Two children, daughter Elizabeth, 49, and son James, 46.  

Accolades: Major was given a Knighthood in 2005 as a Companion Of The Garter by Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Mrs Thatcher had won a first ballot in the leadership contest, but failed to secure outright victory, and initially pledged to continue her bid.

But the majority of her cabinet members had told her she would not win, which Mr Major knew, and she later decided to step down.

He then pledged to ‘destroy’ his predecessor after believing she was critical of him following her departure, according to a book by former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore in 2019. 

Major was known for having a mild-mannered style which may appear to be in stark contrast to Miller, who is known for playing bad boy characters like Sick Boy in Trainspotting.

Bit different: Major was known for having a mild-mannered style in stark contrast to Miller, who is known for playing bad boy characters like Sick Boy in Trainspotting (pictured)

Bit different: Major was known for having a mild-mannered style in stark contrast to Miller, who is known for playing bad boy characters like Sick Boy in Trainspotting (pictured)

THE CROWN: The Politicians  

WINSTON CHURCHILL  

John Lithgow

SERIES: One 

TIME IN OFFICE: From 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955

– John was the only American actor to star in the first season of the show and wore a fat suit for the role  

ANTHONY EDEN

 Jeremy Northam

SERIES: One 

TIME IN OFFICE: Succeeded Churchill in 1955 and held the post til 1957 

 HAROLD MACMILLAN 

Anton Lesser 

SERIES: Two 

TIME IN OFFICE: Took over from Eden when he resigned in 1957 until 1963 

HAROLD WILSON 

Jason Watkins

SERIES: Three 

TIME IN OFFICE: From October 1964 to June 1970, and again from March 1974 to April 1976

 JOHN F. KENNEDY AND JACKIE O   

 Michael C. Hall and Jodi Balfour 

 SERIES: Two  

– The Crown portrayed the late president as a high-functioning drug addict 

Michael C. Hall as John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

JOHN F. KENNEDY AND JACKIE O

MARGARET THATCHER 

Gillian Anderson 

SERIES: Four 

TIME IN OFFICE: Thatcher became the first female prime minister when she was elected in 1979 and held the position until 1990.

 

Fans of the show were notably surprised by Miller’s casting announcement, and they took to Twitter to share their thoughts.

One person wrote: ‘Jonny Lee Miller – best known for playing Sick Boy in Trainspotting – will play Prime Minister Sir John Major in the fifth season of The Crown. Didn’t see that coming.. (sic)’

Another added: ‘I think its unprecedented, yeah. A major part of the excitement also comes from the casting as opposed to to the storylines, which is quite unusual in itself. 

‘Jonny Lee Miller as John Major though, just announced. I mean, Sir John must be smiling today.’

While one person joked: ‘Oh ok ok I’ll start watching The Crown!! But I am going to be very confused hornily because Jonny Lee Miller is Mr Superhottypants-McBrilliantActor, and John Major is Mr Noneofthosethings (sic)’

Reaction: Fans of the show were notably surprised by Miller's casting announcement, and they took to Twitter to share their thoughts

Reaction: Fans of the show were notably surprised by Miller’s casting announcement, and they took to Twitter to share their thoughts

The announcement comes after it was revealed he has been reconnecting with ex Angelina following her visits to his Brooklyn-area apartment. 

She has been staying at the ultra luxurious Carlyle Hotel overlooking Central Park while visiting New York with her children, where room prices begin at $700, with suites ranging thousands of dollars per night.

The Sun recently claimed that Miller has not only met Pax, 17, but also Jolie’s youngest son Knox, 12.  Angelina shares custody of both kids with ex-husband Brad Pitt, in addition to Maddox, 19, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 15 and and Vivienne, 12 

‘On her first evening with Jonny, Angelina only took Knox along, and they got on like a house on fire,’ a source told the outlet. ‘Knox is a sweet kid and I imagine she decided he was the easiest one to begin introductions with.’

And Pax was curious what Miller was like so he came the next evening. 

They get along well: The announcement comes after it was revealed he has been reconnecting with ex Angelina following her visits to his Brooklyn-area apartment

They get along well: The announcement comes after it was revealed he has been reconnecting with ex Angelina following her visits to his Brooklyn-area apartment

‘She went back the next afternoon with Pax, who was curious to meet this guy she’s always spoken so fondly about,’ said the insider. ‘They only hung out for a short while at Jonny’s apartment, but they seemed to get along well.’ 

Last week, The Girl Interrupted star spent about three hours inside — where the pair reportedly enjoyed dinner — and was then spotted exiting the premise at 10:30pm. 

They were married in 1996 after meeting on the set of their movie Hackers a year prior, but separated shortly after and officially divorced in 1999.

Back in March, it was reported that The Crown’s casting directors have begun looking for a sandy-haired pre-teen boy to play Prince William in the much-anticipated fifth series of the hit Netflix show. 

Back then: He will play the Tory Prime Minister, who was in charge of the country from November 1990 and May 1997 (Major and his wife Norma in 1990)

Back then: He will play the Tory Prime Minister, who was in charge of the country from November 1990 and May 1997 (Major and his wife Norma in 1990)

Netflix is said to have already put out casting calls to hundreds of top schools and drama clubs for a youngster to play the future king as preparations to film the fifth series get underway.

A Netflix source told the Times that the hunt for the Duke of Cambridge was in its early days, while the search for his younger brother, Prince Harry, would begin at a later stage.

Casting director Nina Gold is said to be looking for youngsters between the ages of nine and 13 to play Prince William, who was played in the fourth series by Lucas Barber-Grant.

Could it be? Netflix have reportedly put out casting calls to hundreds of top schools and drama clubs for a youngster to play Prince William (pictured in August 1995 with his parents and Prince Harry) in The Crown's fifth series

Could it be? Netflix have reportedly put out casting calls to hundreds of top schools and drama clubs for a youngster to play Prince William (pictured in August 1995 with his parents and Prince Harry) in The Crown’s fifth series

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk