'The Crown' Cast On Netflix Proves No Queen Can Rule Alone
While it may be good to be the king, Netflix's new series The Crown shows that being the queen and balancing the British monarchy with the Parliament is no easy feat. As ruling a country takes many leaders, the cast of The Crown is large and truly impressive — especially for any of you Anglophiles out there. For my fellow lovers of British dramas, The Crown cast is going to make you even more politely pumped for the Netflix series, premiering on Nov. 4.
As the first season of The Crown revolves around Queen Elizabeth II becoming the ruler of the British monarchy in the wake of World War II, the casting needed to focus on a certain level of historical accuarcy. While the actors of The Crown may not look exactly like their real-life counterparts when they're out of costume, they will embody these important figures of British history — some who have already died and some who are still living — like Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Prince Philip, and Winston Churchill.
Portraying real, influential people must be slightly intimidating for the actors, but as you'll see below, the cast of The Crown seems more than up to the task. And you're bound to be giddy at some of these familiar British (and one American!) faces.
Claire Foy As Queen Elizabeth II
Although not a household name, Claire Foy has had practice being a queen since she was Anne Boleyn in the 2015 miniseries Wolf Hall. Before then, she was in the miniseries Little Dorrit as the title character, Season of the Witch with Nicolas Cage, the revival of the British TV series Upstairs Downstairs (aka the original Downton Abbey), and Jon Stewart's film Rosewater. She also is a theater actor (aren't all British actors?), portraying Lady Macbeth opposite of James McAvoy in a reworking of the Shakespeare play. While this role of Queen Elizabeth II won't necessarily make her as famous as the world leader she plays, after The Crown, Foy will be a name people remember.
Matt Smith As Philip Mountbatten, Duke Of Edinburgh
You can call him Doctor — Doctor Who that is — since Matt Smith is best known for being the Eleventh Doctor of the beloved British sci-fi series. Besides portraying Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip, he has broken out from his fish fingers and custard-loving Time Lord role in films like Terminator Genisys and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the musical version of American Psycho as Patrick Bateman.
John Lithgow As Sir Winston Churchill
The actor and the character he plays need no introduction. John Lithgow portrays Sir Winston Churchill and, although he is an American actor, Lithgow's acting credentials prove that he'll have no issue taking on this larger-than-life figure. He has been on TV shows ranging from 3rd Rock from the Sun to Dexter and movies ranging from Footloose to Interstellar in his illustrious four-decade-long career.
Jared Harris As King George VI
If you're into sci-fi, you know him as David Robert Jones. If you're into Don Draper, you know him as Lane Pryce. Jared Harris won't have a very long-running role as King George VI (spoiler alert: he has to die in order for his daughter Elizabeth to become queen), but his memorable face is always a welcome addition to any cast he chooses to grace, like the aforementioned Fringe and Mad Men.
Vanessa Kirby As Princess Margaret
One of Vanessa Kirby's first roles was as the heartbreaker Estella in the 2011 miniseries of Great Expectations alongside Gillian Anderson's Miss Havisham. Since then, she has been doing mostly film work in movies like About Time, Jupiter Ascending, and Me Before You. She has returned to the TV format to portray Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret.
Jeremy Northam As Anthony Eden
For any Jane Austen fanatics out there, you most likely have had a crush on Jeremy Northam (guilty as charged) since he portrayed Mr. Knightly opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in the 1996 film version of Emma. He was in a slew of movies in the 1990s and early 2000s, including Amistad, An Ideal Husband, and Gosford Park. Like his The Crown character, politician Anthony Eden, he has already hung around royalty before since he played Sir Thomas More in The Tudors.
Harriet Walter As Clementine Churchill
Fans of stories about Brits are probably familiar with Harriet Walter by face, if not by name, since she has been in Atonement, The Young Victoria, Downton Abbey, and Ang Lee and Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility . Not to mention, she was in that little-known American franchise Star Wars as Dr. Kalonia in The Force Awakens. As Winston Churchill's wife Clementine, she'll be acting alongside Lithgow, but Walker previously shared a project with the fictional Queen Elizabeth herself since she was in Foy's Little Dorrit.
Stephen Dillane As Graham Sutherland
While Stephen Dillane doesn't have a large part as artist Graham Sutherland, his appearance will still bring joy or anger (depending on how you felt about Stannis Baratheon) to Game of Thrones fans.
If you're a lover of period dramas and other British programming, you will surely recognize many other faces, but this is a good start to see who else supports the head that wears The Crown before Season 1 hits Netflix.
Image: Robert Viglasky/Netflix