Netflix’s The Crown set to suspend production, events cancelled after Queen Elizabeth’s death

Imelda Staunton plays the Queen in The Crown. PHOTO: NETFLIX

LONDON – Netflix’s prestige drama The Crown (2016 to present), which follows the lives and times of Britain’s royal family, will put a pause on production after Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday.

The award-winning historical series’ showrunner, creator, executive producer and screenwriter Peter Morgan told entertainment portal Deadline: “The Crown is a love letter to her and I’ve nothing to add for now, just silence and respect. I expect we will stop filming out of respect too.”

Its sixth and final season is now in production, with a recent announcement that four actors will play the Queen’s grandsons William and Harry in their teenage years.

Netflix has yet to make an official statement on the matter, but the production team has seemingly been preparing for this day since the series debuted.

Stephen Daldry, one of the show’s early directors, told Deadline in 2016 that the show would pause production out of respect should Queen Elizabeth II die during its run. “It would be a simple tribute and a mark of respect. She’s a global figure and it’s what we should do.”

The monarch, who celebrated an unprecedented 70-year reign during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this year, died peacefully at her home in Scotland aged 96.

The Crown’s early episodes are set during the last days of King George VI, who was the Queen’s father, and trace her journey from princess to sovereign of Britain.

British actress Claire Foy portrayed the Queen in the first two seasons, and was succeeded by compatriot Olivia Colman, whose two seasons comprised the period between the mid-1960s up to 1990.

Fellow Briton Imelda Staunton took over from Colman for the fifth and sixth seasons, which will likely premiere at the end of this year and 2023 respectively.

Meanwhile, events in the British entertainment industry were put on hold in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.

The 2022 Mercury Prize, which was set to take place in London on Thursday, was postponed. The annual prize celebrates the best of contemporary British and Irish music, with winners including rock bands the Arctic Monkeys in 2006 and Pulp in 1995.

And the British Academy of Film and Television Arts TV Tea Party, which traditionally takes place in the weekend prior to the Emmys, was cancelled.

The BBC has also suspended all comedy programming on its television channels for the next week and a half, and theatres across Britain are expected to dim their lights and observe a minute of silence prior to performances. 

British celebrities took to social media to express their condolences over the Queen’s death.

Among them were actress Helen Mirren, who won an Academy Award for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006). She wrote on Instagram: “I’m proud to call myself of the Elizabethan age. If there was a definition of nobility, Elizabeth Windsor embodied it.”

Mick Jagger, the 79-year-old frontman of rock icons the Rolling Stones, wrote on Twitter that the Queen had been a stalwart presence in recent British history. “For my whole life, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has always been there... I remember her as a beautiful young lady, (and also as) the much beloved grandmother of the nation.”

Singer Elton John called her “an inspiring presence to be around”, and noted that she “led the country through some of our greatest and darkest times with grace”.

Over in the United States, socialite Paris Hilton declared the Queen “the original girlboss”, and singer-actress Barbra Streisand shared an undated photo of her meeting the late monarch.

A clip on Twitter showed singer Harry Styles leading an audience at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in a round of applause.

Even Paddington Bear – who joined the Queen for a short film earlier this year to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee – made his own farewell on Twitter, saying: “Thank you Ma’am, for everything.”

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