Here's the good news: Netflix's The Crown has picked its next Queen Elizabeth. Imelda Staunton, the Oscar-nominated and Olivier Award record-breaking actress (who, despite all that, may be best known in America for her role as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter franchise) will take the throne from Olivia Colman in season five.
Here's the bad news: she'll only play the role for a single season. Despite creator Peter Morgan's frequent assurances that he had planned to run the show for six seasons, he's now announced he'll wrap it all up in five.
Which means that any hopes the show will catch up to real time and delve into all the current royal drama have been dashed.
While once one could hope that The Crown would culminate in the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and thus serve as a tale of a family learning that it's okay to marry for love, the recent developments in the real world coupled with Morgan's announcement means this won't end as a fairy tale.
"At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop," said Morgan in a statement. "I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision."
Though Morgan announced that Staunton would be "taking The Crown into the 21st Century," it's unclear exactly what that means.
Season three concluded in the late '70s, and only briefly introduced the future Princess Diana in the later half. Season four is expected to cover the years of Margaret Thatcher's prime ministership from 1979 to 1990, which would include both Diana and Charles's royal wedding and the beginning of the royal separation (an infamous confrontation between Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles went down in 1989).
Because The Crown is structured around Prime Minister's terms, it's very likely, then, that the fifth and final season would include the reigns of John Major from 1990 to 1997 and then the rise of New Labour and Tony Blair from 1997 to 2007. Though, the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 could also serve as a natural ending point for the series.
Complicating the matter somewhat is that Morgan has already expertly detailed the Royal's reaction to Princess Diana's death in his film The Queen (Helen Mirren won an Oscar for the titular role).
Still, with that much ground left to cover it's unlikely the show will ever catch up to the present day in a meaningful way. To put it in perspective: the series hasn't even announced the casting of a Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson yet, let alone their Kate Middleton.
Unless, of course, Morgan decides to end it Six Feet Under style with Meghan Markle on a plane back to Canada while blaring a Sia song in her headphones as the fates of her royal in-laws are revealed via montage.