Three actresses have played Elizabeth II in the famous ‘The Crown’, which will premiere its fifth season this year
At first it was difficult for us to see Queen Elizabeth II in the fragile presence of actress Claire Foy, who was in charge of interpreting her during the first two seasons of ‘The Crown’, the Netflix series. The interpreter managed to give a completely different image to the one we had of this character, surely conditioned by her media exposure in the last years of the 20th century. That naive, insecure Elizabeth II, who doubts how to play her role and who fights in love to maintain her marriage, was more unknown to us, but no less attractive for that. On the contrary.
Precisely that surprise factor has surely been one of the reasons why ‘The Crown’ has become one of the most celebrated fictions of recent times, both by the public and by the award winners. Their powerful performances and staging have certainly contributed as well. Despite the fact that the queen is the main figure, the Netflix production is presented as a more ambitious project that aims to describe what it means to live around the crown, in what way it conditions belonging to the British royal family. For this reason, the series focuses on figures that are less approached audiovisually, such as Princess Margaret or the Duke of Edinburgh.
In the chapters in which Claire Foy became Elizabeth II we see how she was crowned queen of England, how that appointment changed her life, the disagreements with her sister, the relationship she established with Churchill and her reaction to events such as the Suez Canal crisis. But above all we are witnesses of the professional evolution that she lived, the sacrifices that she had to make and the way in which she learned to govern in spite of everyone.
Olivia Colman in ‘The Crown’. /
The series made the difficult decision to change the actors who embody the main characters as they get older, so in the fourth season the viewers had to get used to the face of Olivia Colman. The choice was brave, because the actress was not unknown and she had participated in popular titles like ‘Broadchurch’ or ‘Fleabag’, but it worked. With this change of face we get used to a less expressive queen, further from reality, more concerned about herself than about what is happening around her.
In seasons three and four ‘The Crown’ reflected the arrival in England of Margaret Thatcher or how Lady Di became a world icon. Olivia Colman had to show a more mature queen, battle-hardened and possibly less excited about what was happening around her. These deliveries were more criticized, possibly due to the importance given in the plots to the stormy relationship between Carlos and Diana, but also due to the cold behavior of the protagonist.
Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth II in seasons five and six. /
The challenge is now Imelda Staunton, who will be Queen in the next two seasons, still to be released. The protagonist of films such as ‘Vera Drake’ or ‘Maleficent’ will play Elizabeth II during the crisis that caused the death of Lady Di and during the subsequent years.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.