The Crown’s Imelda Staunton ‘inconsolable’ over death of the Queen

The Crown's new season full of ‘drama with capital D’ claims expert

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The Crown actress Imelda Staunton has revealed the extent of her sadness following the death of the Queen in September. The star who plays the late monarch in the upcoming season five of the Netflix drama also defended the timing of the new instalment too, amid critics questioning the appropriateness of its release.

Reflecting on the death of Her Royal Highness, Imelda and Jonathan Pryce, who plays Prince Philip in the royal drama, shared their emotions.

Imelda told the Radio Times: “I’m afraid that night I was inconsolable.

“I was very glad I wasn’t due to be working the next day. They couldn’t have filmed on this face.”

Production of season six of The Crown was paused during the national period of mourning, but season five was not moved from its planned November release date.

Read More: Prince Harry memoir torn apart by Steph McGovern

Ahead of the eagerly anticipated historical drama, co-star Jonathan reflected on whether the filming would need to be adapted for the new instalment.

He replied: “If we changed anything, it would be an admission that what we had done before was wrong, and I don’t feel that at all.

“I think it will continue to be a respectful examination of a family done with great integrity and wit.”

Jonathan and Imelda will star as the royal couple who were married for 74 years and will tell the story of the eventful 1990s for the Royal Family.

During the decade, there was the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997 and before that an explosive interview with Martin Bashir.

In a 1995 interview, a year before she was officially divorced to the former Prince of Wales, Diana lifted the lid on life in Buckingham Palace to the journalist, which many viewers will vividly remember.

After calls from Dame Judi Dench to add a disclaimer warning for viewers, Netflix and the show bosses eventually agreed to include a brief message to fans.

Included in the description of the new trailer, which includes references to the infamous interview, a warning states: “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatisation tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign.”

It continues: “It’s a new decade, and the royal family are facing what may be their biggest challenge yet: proving their continued relevance in ‘90s Britain.

“As Diana and Charles wage a media war, cracks begin to splinter the royal foundation.”

In an unprecedented move ahead of a TV drama, Dame Judi wrote to The Times to call for Netflix to remind viewers of the fictional nature of the programme.

In her letter she wrote: “The closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely it seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism.

“Given some of the wounding suggestions apparently contained in the new series — that King Charles plotted for his mother to abdicate, for example, or once suggested his mother’s parenting was so deficient that she might have deserved a jail sentence — this is both cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent.”

She continued: “No one is a greater believer in artistic freedom than I, but this cannot go unchallenged.”

Despite this week stating publicly that The Crown has always been a “fictionalised drama” the programme makers have resisted all calls for them to carry a disclaimer at the start of each episode.

The Crown season five is available to stream on Netflix on November 9

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