Imelda Staunton: I had to get over the fear of playing Queen in The Crown

The 66-year-old actress has been honoured at the Baftas and Laurence Olivier Awards.

Imelda Staunton said landing the part of the Queen in The Crown was a daunting experience.

The 66-year-old actress said she had to get over her “shock and fear of playing” Her Majesty in the fifth series of the Netflix show.

Staunton, known for the Harry Potter and Downton Abbey films, takes on the role of the Queen from Oscar winner Olivia Colman and Bafta winner Claire Foy.

Downton Abbey: A New Era world premiere
Imelda Staunton attending the world premiere of Downton Abbey: A New Era (Ian West/PA)

Staunton told the Radio Times: “I knew it was a very heavy baton that was being passed over, so I had to try and match what had gone before.

“I didn’t want to let the whole thing down. I had to get over the shock of doing it and the fear.”

The actress is an award-winning performer who won a Bafta for Vera Drake, a period drama about a working class woman who performs abortions, and several Laurence Olivier Awards.

Staunton said she was “inconsolable” after finding out the Queen had died after returning home from being on set.

“I was very glad I wasn’t due to be working the next day,” she said. “They couldn’t have filmed on this face.

“The outpouring of grief took me by surprise and might not have been so acute for me had I not been playing her.”

Series five of The Crown is on Netflix from November 9.