Netflix has confirmed The Crown will finish with season 5.

The news means it will finish one season earlier than expected.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty the Queen for the fifth and final season, taking The Crown into the 21st century. Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.

“At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop. I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.”

Imelda Staunton said: “I have loved watching The Crown from the very start. As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts. I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion.”

Cindy Holland, the Netflix vice-president of original content, said: “I fully support Peter Morgan’s creative decision and am excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of season five bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end.”

It’s likely it means the show will not cover Harry & Meghans exit from the family.

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Season 4 of The Crown will be released in December 2020, meaning the show will end in 2021.