Netflix has already put the kibosh on the rapidly swirling rumors that the inimitable Imelda Staunton has been hired to replace Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in season 5 and 6 of The Crown, but I think we can safely assume that the rumors contain some kernel of truth, and Staunton is in talks for the role. I personally am thrilled by this news, and will now be devastated if it does not come to fruition. Imelda is a top-10, maybe even top-5, all-time actress for me and I don’t think she gets nearly enough credit for how good she is. She can literally do it all–comedy, drama, music, camp–and she makes it look easy. She is arguably the most prolific British stage actress of her generation, and almost always the best part of every film and television project she is a part of. But what really, I think, endears me to her most is not even her incomparable skill, but the warmth and the wit and the heart she brings to everything she does. Needless to say, I love her. The fact that she has not yet been made a Dame keeps me awake at night. But her time is coming, and this would be an excellent catalyst. When it was announced that Colman (another all-time favorite of mine who, at the time (pre-Oscar), was still massively underrated) had been cast as the Queen for seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown (replacing Claire Foy, whom for the record I believe was perfectly cast as the inaugural QE II), I almost could not believe how excellent a choice the producers made in tapping her. If the rumors are true, and Staunton is next up to bat, lightning will definitely have struck twice. I can’t think of anyone more well-suited or equipped to step into this juggernaut of a role for the final seasons of such a significant show. Fingers crossed.