'It's all been a challenge' - Imelda Staunton reflects on playing the Queen in The Crown as final episodes land on Netflix

Virgin Radio

14 Dec 2023, 09:44

Imelda Staunton, Imelda as Queen Elizabeth II

Credit: Rex / Netflix

As the final episodes of The Crown drop on Netflix, Imelda Staunton has revealed what it was really like to portray late Queen Elizabeth II. 

Series six Part Two of The Crown has dropped on Netflix, and marks the end of the royal drama, which spanned several decades of the monarch’s life, from her marriage to Prince Phillip in 1947 all the way through to the 21st century. 

Series six Part One has focused on the events leading up to and after Princess Diana’s death, and will continue in Part Two with Tony Blair’s run as Prime Minister and Prince Williams’ relationship with Kate Middleton. 

Imelda portrayed Queen Elizabeth from series five onwards, taking over the reigns from Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, who wore the crown in series one to two, and three to four respectively.

Speaking at The Crown’s series six celebrations earlier this month, virginradio.co.uk caught up with Imelda on the red carpet, and the esteemed actress reflected on playing the nation’s figurehead in the critically-acclaimed series. 

“It's all been a challenge,” she explained when asked about taking on the role of the monarch. “There's no doubt about it. I think one of the great things is to be able to pick up the mantle and carry on, pick up the baton and keep running.

“This is unique in television history, to have one family played by three different casts. That's been extraordinary and no one knew if the experiment would work. Hopefully it has, and we've done it and we finished it.”

She continued: “Every day was a challenge for me. Everyday was tough, because it has to be so fine. It's like a fine line. That was really fulfilling to do.”

When it came to learning about the late mother, grandmother and monarch, there was one thing that stood out to her among all the different facets of Elizabeth’s life

“I think what I found out with the research was how much her faith meant to her,” the actress revealed. “I hadn't really realised that. That was a great steadying thing for me that made her have an inner strength, and that really helped.”

Fans were recently treated to the very first trailer of The Crown series six part two, and it showed the royal family dealing with the changes the new millennium will bring them. 

Bertie Carvel returns to play Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, meanwhile Lesley Manville stars as Princess Margaret, with Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles.

All six seasons of The Crown, including series six part two, are available to watch on Netflix.