Mustard-colored slip blouse, pearl jewelry, the gray hair wavy. With a stern look and aproned lips, Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II looks past the observer, slightly upwards, after all, the Queen must always have the great Commonwealth in mind or at least the family with its sometimes slightly cranky, sometimes exalted members. The first picture that the American streaming service Netflix now has of the new “Queen” in the series seems serious The Crown published – state-supporting like the real Elizabeth II. And wasn’t she always like that in the latest seasons? The young royals could still do it so hard, the drama about Princess Diana could be told in beautiful poppy pictures for a new generation – the roller skates in the palace! – and other Diana exegetes. A huge debate could start in the kingdom about how close all the TV intrigues in the series advised by connoisseurs of the royal family were to the real life of the royals. But even as a series character, the Queen always remained as postural as the real Queen is said to be in private. But who really knows the Queen – and would talk about it?
So while waiting for the announced memoirs of Prince Harry, which are the only hope in this regard, Imelda Staunton will now take over the role of the British monarch from the fifth season planned for next year. She follows the Golden Globe winner Claire Foy and Oscar winner Olivia Colman to the throne: While Foy played the first years of the regency – from 1947 to the 60s – Colman took over the period from 1964 to 1977 from season three. Staunton, 65, is now to take over the recently past years in the Queen’s life. Jonathan Pryce – known from Game of Thrones, but also as the remarkable Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the Vatican drama The Two Popes – is supposed to play Prince Philip. Elizabeth Debicki (Tenet) is Diana and Dominic West (The Affair) her husband Prince Charles.
The fifth part of the series is likely to be turbulent, as much as the history books reveal here: The divorces of Princess Anne and Prince Andrew, the fire at Windsor Castle in 1992, the marriage of Prince Charles and Diana.
Given the success of the series as well as its award-winning predecessors, the expectations that weigh on Imelda Staunton are high. Her previous roles are quite promising: In the role of the sadistic Hogwarts teacher Dolores Umbridge, the British-born teacher taught in 2007 in Harry Potter not only Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson were afraid, she was also quite impressive for the audience. On closer inspection, Dolores Umbrige even maintains a similar style of clothing to the Queen, but less elegant and far less discreet. Still confusing.
For several decades, Staunton played on the big stages of Great Britain, where she played brilliant roles such as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, Mama Rose in the musical “Gypsy” or Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” In the cinema, the 65-year-old was among others at the side of Keanu Reeves and Emma Thompson in Kenneth Branaghs Much ado about nothing she played the nurse of Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love and was at the side of Angelina Jolie in Maleficent. For her portrayal of Vera Drake in the social drama of the same name by Mike Leigh, Staunton received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005. Vera Drake is a rarity in Imelda Staunton’s filmography in that although she took on extremely important, leading roles in many films, these parts were rarely leading roles.
Which leads to a question that is not so easy to answer: Is the title role of the Queen actually also the main role in The Crown? Isn’t the focus of the series not really less on the queen as a person, but rather on what she represents – a state, a dynasty? And a family that is constantly changing in aThe World must be cooperative and constantly redefine its monarchical role. Plays the main role in The Crown not rather the joint staging as a family? And aren’t 73 million viewers worldwide actually seduced by the feeling of being able to peek a little behind this production?
Imelda Staunton, who is in the series Downton Abbey the royal lady-in-waiting Lady Maud Bagshaw played, will easily find an answer to this difficult question.