Olivia Colman will play Queen Elizabeth in the third and fourth seasons of Netflix’s The Crown. The British Royal biographical drama was first released last year centering on the Queen’s sudden ascension to power after her father died while she was away with Prince Phillip on a Safari trip to Kenya. The events that followed chronicled the first several years of her reign as she tries to live a balanced life carrying her duty as the ruler of the people of England as well as a married woman. Now as the show moves along, some key casting changes are expected on the horizon starting with Colman taking over the role after the second season.

Claire Foy plays the younger iteration of Her Royal Highness and has been critically lauded for her impeccable performance. However, though she plays the role one more time in the sophomore season of the series, the actress will eventually relinquish royal on-screen duties to Colman by the time season 3 rolls out due to the actress being more suitable age-wise to play an older Queen Elizabeth.

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The casting news has come courtesy of Variety, who can confirm that the 43-year-old English actress is slated to take over the role from Foy after season 2.  The third and fourth outings of The Crown have not been officially ordered, but early production is said to be already underway. Series creator Peter Morgan has always been forthcoming about replacing the show’s principal cast by actors who are the same age as the characters during the specific time and era that the show is set in so the passing of the mantle does not really come as a surprise.

Olivia Colman The Crown Casts Olivia Colman As Queen Elizabeth for Seasons 3 & 4

In the last several months, Colman was heavily rumored to be the next star of Doctor Who until Jodie Whittaker was officially announced as the Thirteenth Doctor, replacing Peter Capaldi. Colman is more recently seen on Broadchurch and AMC’s The Night Manager and before she suits up as the Queen, she will appear next in Kenneth Branagh’s ensemble film, Murder on the Orient Express. The veteran thespian is not necessarily new to playing royalty on-screen, she played the Queen in 2012 British biographical historical comedy-drama Hyde Park in Hudson, opposite Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Samuel West as King George VI. Meanwhile, she will take on the role of Queen Anne in the upcoming movie, The Favourite.

Since no official order is in place for The Crown season 3 and 4, it remains to be seen what historical events they will tackle, but Morgan previously shared that he plans to move the spotlight from Queen Elizabeth’s woes to her son, Prince Charles, and his whirlwind and tumultuous relationship with ex-wife, Princess Diana. All of that, however, will come way down the line. In the meantime, fans can first look forward to the second season of the show. The preview for the upcoming installment promises more drama inside the Buckingham Palace as despite being in power for quite some time now, the job doesn’t seem to get any easier for the Queen.

MORE: THE CROWN SEASON 2 Trailer & PREMIERE DATE

The Crown season 2 will be available on Netflix this December 8.

Source: Variety

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