The success of Netflix’s The Crown lies, in part, in its ornate costumes and elaborate (and accurate!) set design—the palaces, castles, and rolling European landscapes are stunning. We’d expect nothing less from a series that reportedly took a record-breaking $130 million to produce. But equally important, the casting is brilliant. If you’ve watched, then you’ve probably Googled one or two of the lesser-known characters already (because you need to know what Antony Armstrong-Jones looked like in real life). Now, season 4 sees the arrival of two household names: Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.
Here, we’ve got all the main players in The Crown and their real-life counterparts.
Olivia Colman / Queen Elizabeth II (Seasons 3-4)
British Oscar winner Olivia Colman took on the role of Queen Elizabeth from Claire Foy.
Tobias Menzies / Prince Philip
Outlander star Tobias Menzies took on the role of Prince Philip from Matt Smith for seasons 3 and 4.
Helena Bonham Carter / Princess Margaret
Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter plays Princess Margaret in seasons 3 and 4, taking over for Vanessa Kirby.
Marion Bailey / The Queen Mother
Marion Bailey plays Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother for seasons 3 and 4.
Josh O’Connor / Prince Charles
Josh O’Connor picks up the role of Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4.
Emma Corrin / Princess Diana
Emma Corrin landed the pivotal role of Lady Diana Spencer, who becomes Diana, Princess of Wales in season 4.
Gillian Anderson / Margaret Thatcher
Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher makes her debut in the series in season 4, played by Gillian Anderson. The “Iron Lady,” as she was called, was Prime Minister from 1979 until 1990 and the first woman to hold the office.
Erin Doherty / Princess Anne
Erin Doherty takes on the role of a young Princess Anne in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown.
Emerald Fennell / Camilla Parker-Bowles
Seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown depict the early relationship between Camilla Parker Bowles (played by Emerald Fennell) and Prince Charles. “I absolutely love Camilla, and am very grateful that my teenage years have well prepared me for playing a chain-smoking serial snogger with a pudding bowl haircut,” Fennel said in a statement.
Charles Dance / Lord Mountbatten
Dance plays the ill-fated Lord Mountbatten in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown. In the latest season, the naval officer’s 1979 assassination and its impact on the royal family is depicted.
Charles Edwards / Martin Charteris
Edwards takes over for Harry Hadden-Patton as Queen Elizabeth’s private secretary for seasons 3 and 4. He was a trusted confidant for the monarch prior to her time as Queen, nurturing their close relationship up until his departure from royal service.
Antony Armstrong-Jones / Ben Daniels
Ben Daniels took on the role of Princess Margaret’s husband, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon, in season 3.
Sir Winston Churchill / John Lithgow
American actor John Lithgow played the legendary prime minister Winston Churchill in seasons 1 and 2, as well as a brief cameo in the season 3 premiere.
Queen Elizabeth II / Claire Foy (Seasons 1-2)
Queen Elizabeth was played by English actor Claire Foy for seasons 1 and 2.
Prince Philip / Matt Smith
English actor Matt Smith played the uncompromisingly bold Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, for seasons 1 and 2.
The Queen Mother / Victoria Hamilton
The Queen Mother was played by English actress Victoria Hamilton for seasons 1 and 2.
Princess Margaret / Vanessa Kirby
Princess Margaret was played by English actress Vanessa Kirby in seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown.
Antony Armstrong-Jones / Matthew Goode
English actor Matthew Goode played Antony Armstrong-Jones, later known as the Earl of Snowdon, in season 2. (You may recognize Goode from his role as Lady Mary’s last love interest in Downton Abbey.)
Prince Charles / Julian Baring
Prince Charles was played by Julian Baring in the early seasons of The Crown.
King George VI / Jared Harris
English actor Jared Harris appeared in season 1 as King George VI.
The Duke of Windsor / Alex Jennings
Alex Jennings plays the Queen’s uncle, the Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII), in seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown.
Wallis Simpson / Lia Williams
Wallis Simpson, played by English actress Lia Williams in seasons 1 and 2, was an American socialite and the wife of the former King Edward VIII.
Queen Mary of Teck / Eileen Atkins
The matriarch of the Windsor family, Queen Mary of Teck, was played by Eileen Atkins in the first season of The Crown. The Queen consort passed away in 1953, but served as a mentor to Queen Elizabeth II during her first year as monarch.
Peter Townsend / Ben Miles
Peter Townsend, played by English actor Ben Miles in seasons 1 and 2, was the Equerry to King George VI and for Queen Elizabeth from 1944 to 1952.
Clementine Churchill / Harriet Walter
Clementine Spencer-Churchill remained by her husband’s side through his multiple terms as Prime Minister, as depicted throughout season 1 of The Crown by actress Harriet Walter.
Anthony Eden / Jeremy Northam
Anthony Eden, The Earl of Avon, played by English actor Jeremy Northam in seasons 1 and 2, became the Prime Minister after Winston Churchill stepped down in April of 1955.
Harold Macmillan / Anton Lesser
Former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was played by English actor Anton Lesser in season 2.
Lady Dorothy Macmillan / Sylvestra Le Touzel
Dorothy, played by Sylvestra Le Touzel, was the wife of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. It was her relationship with another gentleman that drove most of her plot lines in season 2 of The Crown and captured the public’s intrigue.
Michael Adeane / Will Keen
The Queen’s private secretary, Michael Adeane, is played by English actor Will Keen in seasons 1 and 2.
Martin Charteris / Harry Hadden-Paton
Martin Charteris, played by Harry Hadden-Paton in seasons 1 and, was educated at Eton and worked as the private secretary to Queen Elizabeth when she was merely a Princess. After the death of her father, Charteris moved to her Buckingham Palace team and worked as her assistant private secretary alongside Sir Michael Adeane.
Tommy Lascelles / Pip Torrens
After serving three British monarchs—George V, Edward VIII, and George VI—Alan “Tommy” Lascelles (played by Pip Torrens in seasons 1 and 2, with a cameo in season 3) was a pillar of support for the newly minted Queen and served as her private secretary until his retirement a year later.
Lord Mountbatten / Greg Wise
Louis Mountbatten was a naval officer and the former Viceroy of India. Played by Greg Wise in the first two seasons of the Netflix show, Mountbatten is the uncle of Prince Philip and had a close relationship with Prince Charles until his assassination in 1979 by the Provisional IRA.
Mike Parker / Daniel Ings
Mike Parker, played by Daniel Ings, is featured throughout the first two seasons of The Crown. As equerry to the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as his close friend, Parker joined Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth on their royal tours and visits. However, when his wife Eileen divorced him citing “adultery,” he was forced to resign.
Eileen Parker / Chloe Pirrie
Eileen Parker, played by Chloe Pirrie in season 2, was not prepared for the attention that would come with divorcing the Duke’s private equerry. In 1958, she was granted a divorce based on evidence of adultery during the Duke’s royal tour.
Cecil Beaton / Mark Tandy
Artist and photographer Cecil Beaton was portrayed in season 2 by actor Mark Tandy. He is the creative behind Princess Margaret’s iconic birthday portrait.
Lord Altrincham / John Heffernan
In season 2, The Crown shines a light upon journalist Lord Altrincham, who was played by John Heffernan. The writer caused controversy in the early ’60s for his critical essays of the Queen. In a private meeting, Lord Altrincham offered advice to the palace that was eventually incorporated by the royals as they adjusted to a rapidly modernizing era.
President John F. Kennedy / Michael C. Hall
President Kennedy, played by Michael C. Hall, was portrayed as a bit of a bully who was insecure about his wife’s spotlight on their European tour. The episode “Dear Mrs. Kennedy” in season 2 takes a peek at the iconic couple’s closed door relationship and follows the duo up to the President’s assassination.
Jacqueline Kennedy / Jodi Balfour
The ever-glamorous Jackie Kennedy visited Buckingham Palace in 1961 and was portrayed by Jodi Balfour in season 2. The meeting of the First Lady and the Queen was highly covered by the press, but the two did not appear to be steadfast friends. Jackie is said to have criticized the Queen’s style, as well as the palace.
Reverend Billy Graham / Paul Sparks
Billy Graham, a reverend from North Carolina, rose to prominence in the ’60s after he began broadcasting his sermons across the country and eventually internationally. Paul Sparks portrays the figure who, while touring the United Kingdom, was invited to an informal meeting with the Queen, who had become a fan of his work.
Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark / Leonie Benesch
In season 2 of The Crown, fans get a peak at the tragic upbringing of Prince Philip in the episode “Paterfamilias,” as well as his especially close relationship with his older sister, Princess Cecilie. Cecilie, who was played by Leonie Benesch, was killed when her plane crashed while traveling to London from Germany with her children, husband, and mother-in-law.
Jacqui Chan / Alice Hewkin
The former girlfriend of Antony Armstrong-Jones, actress Jacqui Chan, is played by Alice Hewkin in season 2 of The Crown. Born in Trinidad, Chan rose to fame in the London play “The World of Suzie Wong.” She and Armstrong-Jones were involved up until he met Princess Margaret and the actress was even in attendance at their royal wedding in 1960.
Trooper the Pug
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor lived out their familial exile in France where they were known as extravagant hosts and entertainers. Although the couple had no children together, they had a large brood of dogs, specifically pugs. Trooper was one of the couple’s many beloved pugs and one that The Crown showcased in the episode “Vergangenheit.”
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