The Crown: Meet the cast of the Queen Elizabeth series

Everything you need to know about The Crown on Netflix

The Crown poster

by Natalie Higgins |
Updated on

The Crown series one and two has captivated the nation, telling the story of ruling monarch Queen Elizabeth II during the early stages of her reign. The production details are near perfect throughout the series, they spent £30,000 reproducing Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress, and it wasn't even on screen for all that long, and they built sets that duplicate parts of Buckingham Palace. A lot has gone into making this show visually as realistic as possible, and it's certainly paid off.

GALLERY: Now meet the cast of The Crown on Netflix


The Crown series cast stacked

Claire Foy in The Crown1 of 7
CREDIT: Netflix

Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy)

Queen Elizabeth II is played by British actress Claire Foy. In The Crown, the show starts with Princess Elizabeth marrying Philip in 1947 and then ascending the throne with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh in 1952 after her father died. Since then, the Queen has served through 12 Prime Ministers and still rules today with the longest reign in British monarchy history.Actress Claire Foy has previously played TV roles in Being Human and the promise after studying acting at the Liverpool John Moores University and the Oxford School of Drama. She married actor Stephen Campbell Moore in 2014 and have had a daughter together. The couple announced their separation in February 2018. Since starring in The Crown, Claire has been nominated for several awards and won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as a Primetime Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award.

Matt Smith The Crown2 of 7
CREDIT: Netflix

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (Matt Smith)

11th incarnation of the Doctor, Matt Smith, plays Prince Philip in The Crown. Elizabeth and Prince Philip first met at a wedding in 1934, but the pair didn't marry until 1947 and their first child, Prince Charles, was born a year later. Philip has stood alongside the Queen for nearly 70 years, giving up his successful career as an officer in the Navy, specifically as first lieutenant and second-in-command of the destroyer H.M.S. Chequers.Matt was born in Northampton, UK in 1982 and had planned to be a professional football player, having played for the youth teams of Northampton Town, Nottingham Forest, and Leicester City. After a back injury ended his career, he joined the National Youth Theatre in London with his first theatre roles as Thomas Becket in Murder in the Cathedral and Bassoon in The Master and Margarita, which earned him an agent and his first professional jobs.

Vanessa Kirby The Crown3 of 7
CREDIT: Netflix

Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby)

Princess Margaret is played by Vanessa Kirby. As the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret is best known for causing a great scandal in her 20s. She fell in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend of the Royal Air Force. Because of this, there was immense pressure from her family and the press for Margaret to break off the relationship, and in the end, her family won. She married Anthony Armstrong-Jones, a photographer, in 1960, and they had two children together, but divorced in 1978.Vanessa Kirby is a British stage, television and film actress and model who studied at the University of Exeter. She won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Television Series for her role as Princess Margaret.

John Lithgow4 of 7
CREDIT: Netflix

Winston Churchill (John Lithgow)

John Lithgow acts as Prime Minister Winston Churchill in The Crown, advising Queen Elizabeth during the start of her career. He enforced tradition and advised the Queen against taking Prince Philip's name. During the series we see him become a friend to the Queen, and they bonded over a shared interest in horses and polo.John Lithgow is an American character actor, musician, comedian, poet, author, and singer. He has received two Tony Awards, six Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. John Lithgow is best known for his television roles as Dick Solomon in the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun and Arthur Mitchell in the drama Dexter. In film, he is also well known for his film roles in Blow Out and Footloose (1984).

Jared Harris the Crown5 of 7
CREDIT: Netflix

King George VI (Jared Harris)

King George VI, played by Jared Harris, ruled for 16 years. He became king due to his older brother Prince Edward abdicating in 1936. He died of cancer in 1952, leaving the throne to his daughter, Elizabeth, who is the lead in The Crown.Jared Harris is a British actor, best known for his roles as Lane Pryce in the television drama series Mad Men, and David Robert Jones in the science fiction series Fringe.

Victoria Hamilton The Crown6 of 7
CREDIT: Netflix

Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (Victoria Hamilton)

Victoria Hamilton plays the Queen Mother in the show. The Queen Mother married King George VI to become Queen Elizabeth and ruled alongside him for 16 years until he passed away in 1952. The Queen Mother passed away in her sleep on 30th March 2002, at 101 years old.After training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Victoria Hamilton began her career in classical theatre, appearing in productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

Eileen Atkins the Crown7 of 7
CREDIT: Netflix

Queen Mary (Eileen Atkins)

Eileen Atkins plays Queen Elizabeth II's grandmother, Queen Mary, otherwise known as Mary of Teck. Her sons were King George VI and Prince Edward, both of whom served as king. However, Prince Edward fell in love with a woman his family disapproved of, so abdicated the throne to marry her.Three-time Olivier Award winner and BAFTA winner, Eileen Atkins is a British actress from London. She was appointed a CBE in 1990 and made a Dame in 2001 for her contribution to drama.

What is The Crown TV show about?

Written and created by Peter Morgan, The Crown follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her marrying Prince Philip in 1947, giving birth to her first son Prince Charles, becoming Queen in 1952 and finishing the first season in 1955 after Prime Minister Winston Churchill's resignation from office. Season two picks up in 1956 with the outbreak of the Suez Crisis, another two Prime Minister's leaving office, the Profumo Affair and the birth of her second son Prince Edward. It is a historical drama series that is broadcast on the online streaming service Netflix as one of its original shows.

Which members of the Royal Family are featured in The Crown?

Queen Elizabeth II is played by Claire Foy in series one and two and Olivia Coleman in season three, with Philip, Duke of Edinburgh being played by Matt Smith in series one and two and Tobias Menzies. Princess Margaret, Elizabeth II's sister, is also featured in the show and is played by Vanessa Kirby. Queen Mary, Elizabeth II's grandmother and Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) are also characters in the show. Jared Harris plays King George VI, Elizabeth's father, known to his family as Bertie and Prince Philip and Prince Edward are also in series two of the show.

Olivia Colman in The Crown
Olivia Colman will play Queen Elizabeth II in series three ©Netflix

When is The Crown series three on Netflix?

Series three is expected to be released at some point in 2019, although Netflix has not yet confirmed an exact date. Series one was released in November 2016 and series two in December 2017 so you should expect it to air around the same time this year. The producers said that there would be a longer break between series two and three due to the introduction of a new cast.

What will happen in series three of The Crown?

It is said that the show will cover Harold Wilson's time as Prime Minister throughout the series, as well as the Apollo 11 moon landing and the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean.

The series will also bring in Camilla Shand and Lady Diana Spencer, with them taking more prominent roles in the fourth series which will be set during Margaret Thatcher's time as Prime Minister.

Which actors are new to the next season of The Crown?

Olivia Colman has been cast to portray Queen Elizabeth II in series three of The Crown, replacing Claire Foy and Tobias Menzies replacing Matt Smith as Prince Philip. Veteran actress Helena Bonham Carter will take on the role of Princess Margaret in series three, after Netflix confirmed the long-rumoured casting.

Helena Bonham Carter will take on the role of Princess Margaret
Helena Bonham Carter will take on the role of Princess Margaret ©Netflix

The Durrells star Josh O’Connor has been confirmed as the actor to play Prince Charles in what is set to be a key period in the Prince of Wales’s history. Josh O’Connor joked he had “the ears for the part”. Emerald Fennell will play the key role of Camilla Shand (now known as Camilla Parker-Bowles, or the Duchess of Cornwall) – Prince Charles’ future wife Lady Diana Spencer (the future Princess of Wales), is played by Emma Corrin in The Crown.

Is The Crown TV show accurate?

On the whole The Crown TV show is fairly accurate. It features all the main events during Queen Elizabeth II's reign through her personal life and foreign policy. However, there are some things that don't seem likely, such as Elizabeth having never given thought to what her regal name would be until the day her father died. The palace usually prepares these things so they can issue press releases straight away.

We also know that the Queen fought the government hard over Margaret's planned marriage to Peter Townsend, and even had worked out a compromise. Margaret and Peter changed their minds at the last minute for reasons that are still unclear. But the show makes it look like Elizabeth refused the relationship.

Some have said that the show over-emphasises the Queen's unpreparedness for becoming monarch. It's true that she became Queen sooner than she expected to, but she had known that it would happen since she was a little girl, so would have been prepared well in advance.

The outlines of the show are factual, but remember that the show is there to entertain and will have emphasised some storylines for entertainment purposes.

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