It has been announced that Olivia Colman is next in line to portray the Queen in Netflix's hit period drama The Crown. The Broadchurch star will step into the role of Queen Elizabeth II in season three and four of the show, replacing Claire Foy. Claire, 33, originated the role in the Emmy-winning series last year, and will reprise the part in the upcoming series two, set to premiere later this year. The Crown dramatizes the story of the British royal family, beginning in 1947 with Elizabeth's engagement to Prince Philip and gradually progressing through her reign. Seasons three and four will be set after 1963, with Olivia, 42, taking over as the show moves towards present day and the character naturally ages.
STORY: What to expect in season two of 'The Crown'
Olivia Colman is replacing Claire Foy as the Queen in The Crown
Series' creator Peter Morgan has always said it was his intention to replace key cast members as the show progressed, to better portray main characters as they age. "What's so beautiful about Claire is her youth," he told Variety, ahead of the season one premiere. "You can't ask someone to act middle-aged. Someone has to bring their own fatigue to it. The feelings we all have as 50-year-olds are different from the feelings that we all have as 30-year-olds. That informs everything we do."
STORY: The Crown: Claire Foy returns as the Queen in the first trailer for series 2
Claire has played the monarch for the first two seasons of the hit Netflix period drama
It has not yet been revealed who will take over the role of Prince Philip from former Doctor Who star Matt Smith. But fans can expect to see a host of new faces join the show for series two later this year, including Dextor actor Michael C. Hall as President John F Kennedy and Jodi Balfour as his wife, Jackie Kennedy. Matthew Goode also joins the cast as Lord Snowdon, the society photographer who went on to marry the Queen's younger sister Princess Margaret.