How the Cast of The Crown Compares to the Real-Life Players

Olivia Colman‘s reign as Queen Elizabeth II has come to an end.

Sunday, Sept. 19 marks the last Emmy Awards where Colman will be up for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on The Crown. Why? Because she’s since passed on the, well, crown to Harry Potter actress Imelda Staunton.

On July 30, Netflix released the first look of Staunton’s transformation into Queen Elizabeth II, a much anticipated image as the actress’s casting was first teased back in November 2019. In the first glimpse, Staunton donned the queen’s signature short bob, pearls and yellow-patterned outfit.

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip Matt Smith as Prince Philip Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles Emma Corrin as Princess Diana Emerald Fennell as Camilla Parker Bowles Erin Doherty as Princess Anne Ben Daniels as Antony Armstrong-Jones Matthew Goode as Antony Armstrong-Jones Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher John Lithgow as Winston Churchill Alex Jennings and Derek Jacobi as Edward, Duke of Windsor Jared Harris as King George VI Greg Wise and Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten

But she’s obviously not the first to hold the throne as part of the Netflix series: Prior to Staunton and Colman’s reigns, Claire Foy played Queen Elizabeth.

And it appears Colman is excited to hand over her crown. “Imelda is extraordinary,” she raved to the Radio Times in December, “and she’s going to do it all much better than me. I can’t wait to watch what she does.”

We don’t know about “better,” since season four of The Crown is up for several awards at the 2021 Emmys, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and many acting nominations.

Everything We Know About the Future of The Crown

Of course, Staunton’s first pic as the queen isn’t the only tease we’ve gotten for season five.

In August, Elizabeth Debicki, who succeeds Emmy nominee Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, was spotted filming a scene on the grounds of Ardverikie Lodge, which doubles as the royal family’s Scottish holiday home, Balmoral Castle. The production photo made it clear that the new season is set right in the heart of the ’90s.

After all, Debicki was seen wearing one of Diana’s classic ensembles: jeans and an oversized blazer.

We cannot wait to see the other transformations season five has in store as the new cast list also features Jonathan Pryce as Prince Phillip, Dominic West as Prince Charles and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.

© Provided by E! Alex Bailey/Netflix

Take a closer look at The Crown cast and their real-life counterparts by scrolling through the images below.

© Netflix, Bettmann/Getty Images A new queen is wearing the crown! Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth II for season five of the Netflix hit.
© Netflix, Bettmann/Getty Images Olivia Colman played the royal family’s matriarch for seasons three and four.
© Netflix, Bettmann/Getty Claire Foy played Queen Elizabeth II in seasons one and two of Netflix’s The Crown , portraying the early days of the Queen’s reign.
© Netflix, Fox Photos/Getty Images Tobias Menzies stepped into the role of Prince Philip for seasons three and four.
© Netflix, Donald McKague/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Doctor Who alum Matt Smith played a younger version of Queen Elizabeth’s longtime love Prince Philip in seasons one and two.
© Netflix; Getty Images Dominic West will play Prince Charles in The Crown ‘s fifth season.
© Netflix, Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images Seasons three and four featured Josh O’Connor as heir apparent Prince Charles.
© Netflix; Getty Images Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana in season five of The Crown .
© Netflix, Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images Emma Corrin took on the daunting task of playing the beloved late Princess Diana for season four.
© Netflix, Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images Helena Bonham Carter was a natural fit to play the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, in seasons three and four of the period drama.
© Netflix, Getty Images British actress Vanessa Kirby portrayed a young Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of The Crown .
© Netflix, Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images The Prince Charles-Princess Diana saga wouldn’t be complete without Camilla Parker Bowles , played by Emerald Fennell in seasons three and four.
© Netflix, Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images) Erin Doherty played Prince Philip’s favorite child, Princess Anne , in seasons three and four.
© Netflix, PL Gould/Images Press/Getty Images Ben Daniels joined The Crown in season three to play Princess Margaret’s ex husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones .
© Netflix, Keystone-France/Getty Images Matthew Goode became Antony Armstrong-Jones for season two of The Crown .
© Netflix, Jean GUICHARD/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images It’s not just the royals who are portrayed in The Crown . Gillian Anderson played Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in season four.
© Netflix, Bettmann/Getty Images John Lithgow played one the most famous prime ministers, Winston Churchill , in season one.
© Netflix, Bettmann/Getty Images The infamous Duke of Windsor made an appearance in seasons one through three, played at different times by Alex Jennings and Derek Jacobi .
© Netflix, Fox Photos/Getty Images In season one, Jared Harris played Queen Elizabeth II’s beloved father, King George VI .
© Netflix; PA Images via Getty Images Both Greg Wise and Charles Dance portrayed Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma .

(A version of this story originally published Aug. 7, 2021 at 6 p.m. PT)

Watch the Daily Pop Emmys special Saturday, Sept. 18 at 11:30 a.m. and E!’s red carpet coverage of the 2021 Emmy Awards this Sunday, Sept. 19 starting at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT followed by the Emmys telecast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.

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