Imelda Staunton was ‘inconsolable’ over Queen’s death

  • Imelda Staunton succeeds Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in season 5 of ‘The Crown’.
  • She told Entertainment Tonight that she was “very inconsolable” when she learned of his passing.
  • The monarch died on September 8 at the age of 96 after a record 70 years on the throne.

Imelda Staunton is the latest actress to play Queen Elizabeth II in ‘The Crown’ and will make her debut in the highly anticipated fifth season of the Netflix drama, which premieres November 9.

However, unlike her predecessors Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, Staunton had the unique experience of portraying what she describes as a “more familiar” version of the late monarch.

Staunton was also filming scenes for the sixth and final installment of the royal drama on the day the Queen died aged 96 after a record 70 years on the throne, which Entertainment Tonight said left her “inconsolable “.

The Oscar-nominated actor said upon learning of the Queen’s passing on set, “Everyone was extremely sad and I know I was very inconsolable that night.”

“My reaction surprised me,” she continued. “Of course I would feel something. But after living very closely with her for two years, it was strange.”

The actor, who is perhaps best known to audiences for playing the terrifying Dolores Umbridge in the ‘Harry Potter’ films, added that the monarch’s passing was a ‘great sadness’ for the entire team working on the show , especially those who have been with him since his debut in 2016.

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in season 5 of

Imelda Staunton is the latest actress to take over to play the royal role in ‘The Crown’.


“I feel for the crew who worked there from day one. I think there was a great sense of sadness, no doubt. I think [Peter’s] love letter to the queen started a long time ago… I think it lasted a long time. So, it is obvious that he is very passionate about this family. So I think he has such respect for this world.”

Production on the series was temporarily halted for 10 days out of respect for the late royal, and Staunton said she was “very grateful for this time off to re-establish herself”.

The day after her death, Peter Morgan – who adapted ‘The Crown’ from a play to an Emmy-winning hit show – paid tribute to the Queen in a statement and confirmed a break would take place .

“‘The Crown’ is a love letter to [the Queen] and I have nothing to add at this time, just silence and respect,” his statement read. “I expect that we will stop filming out of respect too.”

Meanwhile, Staunton also defended the drama ahead of the release of the new season. Speaking to Deadline, she said it’s “understandable” that hostility towards the show has increased in recent weeks as “people still feel a bit… like their nerve endings are still a bit raw” after the death of the queen.

The actor, 66, went on to say she didn’t think the show was “unworthy”, explaining: “We think it’s honest, true and respectful. Peter Morgan has been writing about the Queen since Helen Mirren. [was in ‘The Queen’].

“He obviously adores this family in so many ways, and he’ll show both sides of the characters, for better or worse. He’ll show them and not be judgmental, he’ll leave that up to the audience.”

Filming for season six resumed in late September and is still ongoing, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to Insider.

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