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Why Queen Elizabeth II From The Crown Season 5 Looks So Familiar

Netflix's "The Crown" is a unique historical drama that spans decades of the royal family's lives and depicts how they've conducted themselves throughout the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Due to the large amount of time the series covers, different actors of different ages must be brought in to portray the same figures. For example, in Season 1, Claire Foy portrayed a young adult Queen Elizabeth II, but in Season 3, Olivia Colman took over the role to play a middle-aged Queen Elizabeth II.

In "The Crown" Season 5, the mantle will pass again. Much like the actors who came before her, who were each in the role for two seasons covering a specific period of the late queen's life, this new actor is scheduled to hold the position for Seasons 5 and 6. Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth II as she enters her mid-60s. And Staunton is quite a recognizable face in British media.

Before she was Professor Umbridge, Staunton appeared in Nanny McPhee

"Nanny McPhee" is about a magical nanny in Victorian England who shows up just in the nick of time to take care of a house of seven rambunctious children who have lost their mother. It proved to be an extremely popular family film that parents could enjoy with their kids.

In the movie, Imelda Staunton plays Mrs. Blatherwick, a former military cook who now works for the enormous Brown household. The seven children love to torment her, and she is often the victim of their pranks, shenanigans, and general poor behavior, including being tied up. Considering the kids have driven off nanny after nanny, it's remarkable that Mrs. Blatherwick has stuck around as long as she has. By the time Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives, Mrs. Blatherwick is convinced that there isn't a force in the world that could actually get these kids to behave.

Imelda Staunton is probably most recognizable for her role as the deplorable Dolores Umbridge

It's hard not to recognize Imelda Staunton immediately if you're a fan of the "Harry Potter" franchise, in which she played Dolores Umbridge, one of the most hated characters to ever have the honor of existing. Often cited as a worse villain than Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Umbridge is the pink-loving Defense Against the Dark Arts professor whom the Ministry of Magic places at Hogwarts in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix."

Over the course of the movie adaptations of the books, Umbridge is seen torturing students as punishment. But that's not all — she also refuses to actually teach her students any real magic despite the dangerous times they live in, fires other professors without just cause, sends Muggle-borns to Azkaban, and even orders Dementors to attack Harry (Daniel Radcliffe). With these crimes, Umbridge racked up enough hatred from fans everywhere to be considered the worst of the worst.

That said, Staunton did an amazing job bringing this devil in pink to life. Her portrayal of Dolores Umbridge was so unnerving that she made the exaggerated caricature feel like a real threat.

The Awakening might be one of Staunton's most surprising films

One role that stands out on Imelda Staunton's résumé is Maud Hill in 2011's "The Awakening." Although this film is technically a period piece (something Staunton has become rather known for) because it takes place in the aftermath of World War I, it's surprisingly also a horror movie.

In "The Awakening," writer Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) works with the police to expose fake spiritualists, and an English boys' boarding school allegedly experiencing a haunting is her next case. Once she arrives at the school, she meets Maud Hill, the housekeeper, who is actually familiar with her work. At one point, Florence falls into a lake, and Maud is among those who believe that it may not have been an accident. After many twists and turns (horror is renowned for them), Maud reveals that she is the one who arranged for Florence to come to the school before proceeding to poison both Florence and herself.

Remember Knotgrass the pixie-fairy from Maleficient and its sequel?

Imelda Staunton has never shied away from fun, over-the-top fantasy. Her role as Knotgrass in Disney's "Maleficient" and its sequel, "Maleficient: Mistress of Evil," is more than enough proof that she's got the acting chops to pull off a wide array of characters.

Knotgrass is one of the three pixie-fairies in the Moors (where many magical creatures reside) who are put in charge of looking after Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) during her childhood, although she essentially ends up being raised by Maleficent (Angelina Jolie). The pixie-fairies do an okay job of keeping her alive and well, but despite their best efforts, Aurora eventually wanders off and falls under Maleficient's curse.

Out of the three, Knotgrass is the most uptight, often presented as the unofficial leader who can be seen bossing the other two around. She definitely has a big screen presence for someone so small.

Staunton also portrayed Maud Bagshaw in Downton Abbey and its sequel

In 2019, Imelda Staunton portrayed Maud Bagshaw in the film "Downton Abbey," a direct continuation of the television series of the same name. In 2022, she reprised her role in "Downton Abbey: A New Era." In a way, this role is similar to what can be expected of her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in "The Crown" since Maud Bagshaw is a baroness and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary (Geraldine James).

As an estranged member of the Crawley family, Maud understandably doesn't wish to return to Downton, but she doesn't get much of a choice when the king and queen decide to embark on a royal tour of Yorkshire, including the estate. Though Maud attempts to convince the queen to let her skip the stop at Downton, the queen insists that it might be best to try to make peace with the family she's been apart from for so long. Unable to turn the queen down in any genuine way, Maud finds herself back in the midst of the Crawleys. Staunton delivers an interesting performance as Maud, bringing a certain charm to her complicated backstory and relation to the family.