Olivia Colman Joins ‘The Crown’ as Queen Elizabeth for Seasons 3 and 4

Long live the Queen: Olivia Colman has been tapped to play Queen Elizabeth in seasons three and four of Netflix’s drama “The Crown,” Variety has confirmed.

Claire Foy has played the Queen for the first two seasons, and earned an Emmy nomination as best actress for her work. She also won a Golden Globe award and Screen Actors Guild award as best actress in a drama. The second season is set to debut on December 8th on Netflix. Seasons 3 and 4 have not been officially ordered, but early production is said to be underway.

Colman, 43, has starred in “Broadchurch” and AMC’s “The Night Manager,” for which she won a Golden Globe for best supporting actress and was nominated for an Emmy award as well.

Series creator Peter Morgan has always said that he intended to replace key cast members in later seasons, to better portray the 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 than the feelings we all have as 30-year-olds. That informs everything we do.”

The series tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, as the fragile social order established after the Second World War breaks apart. Beginning with soldiers in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces fighting an illegal war in Egypt, and ending with the downfall of her third Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, after a devastating scandal, the second season bears witness to the end of the age of deference, and ushers in the revolutionary era of the 1960s.

Along with Foy, season one starred Matt Smith, Victoria Hamilton, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow, Nicholas Rowe, Pip Torrens, Jeremy Northam, Ben Miles, and Billy Jenkins. Matthew Goode (“Downton Abbey”) joins in season two as Princess Margaret’s husband Antony Armstrong-Jones. Based on the award-winning play, “The Audience,” the series reunites creator and writer Morgan with director Stephen Daldry and producer Andy Harries.