The Emmy-nominated Claire Foy, star of Netflix’s The Crown, will be replaced by Olivia Colman in the series’ seasons three and four.


Colman will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the period piece. The reason for the switch has nothing to do with acting skills, but rather with the timing of the drama. Each season takes place over roughly a decade, so within the first two seasons, Elizabeth should have aged 20 years. Hence bringing in a slightly older actress – producers planned on recasting the lead roles after season 2 from the get go.

The upcoming second season will cover the period from roughly 1957 to 1964, and Foy will reprise her role for it. Season two will be released on Netflix on Dec. 8. Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother, and Jeremy Northam as Antony Eden are all expected to return for season two.

The actor to replace Smith has not been revealed yet. Colman is known for her roles in BroadchurchThe Lobster and Hot Fuzz. She also stars in the upcoming Murder on the Orient Express. The actress won a Golden Globe earlier this year for her supporting performance in The Night Manager.

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