There's a new Queen in town.
The Queen is one of the most recognisable figures in the world – even if she does occasionally disguise herself as someone else while out and about on the Balmoral Estate.
But fans had to practically do a double take when Netflix released a first-look picture of Imelda Staunton stepping into the monarch’s shoes for The Crown season five last week.
Donning the Queen’s signature double string pearls and blouse combo, Staunton looked every inch the royal in the much-awaited image, described by The Crown’s Twitter account as an ‘early glimpse’ of what’s to come.
And while it’s likely that we’ll have to wait another while for Netflix to release further official photographs of the show’s fifth season, new behind the scenes images of Staunton on set have emerged, and her resemblance to the Queen is truly uncanny.
Spotted shooting scenes on a boat in Macduff, Scotland, the actress was seen sporting a green and blue skirt suit and matching hat, finished with a signature statement brooch, just like The Queen.
Actor Andrew Havill was also photographed filming scenes in a grey pinstriped suit, though Netflix are yet to announce which role he will play.
Staunton takes over the role of Britain’s longest reigning monarch (no pressure, then) from Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, who lead the show in seasons 1 and 2, and seasons 3 and 4 respectively.
Perhaps best known for playing Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies, Staunton has previously spoken about the “extra challenge” that comes with playing the most contemporary version of the Queen that viewers have seen on the show.
“I think my sort of extra challenge, as if I needed it, is that I’m now doing the Queen that we’re a little more familiar with,” the actress explained.
“With Claire Foy, it was almost history and now I’m playing one that people could say ‘she doesn’t do that,’ ‘she’s not like that,’ and that’s my personal bête noire.”
Staunton will be the final actress to play the Queen on the show, with the next two seasons set to bring the Royal Family up to the present day.
And while this might seem like an incredibly daunting task, the actress has the full support of her predecessor Olivia Colman, who told the Radio Times last year, “Imelda is extraordinary and she’s going to do it all much better than me. I can’t wait to watch what she does.”
Either can we! Roll on 2022.