For six epic seasons, the casting decisions of who would depict members of the royal family for Netflix's "The Crown" have made headlines.
The series has generally recasted many of its characters every two seasons as the family ages. Claire Foy launched the series as Elizabeth in Season One and ultimately passed the scepter to Olivia Colman for the show’s third and fourth seasons. In Season Five, Imelda Staunton took up the torch and will be the queen through the rest of the series.
In addition to Foy, Colman and Staunton, the show’s revolving door of cast members has included famous actors like Helena Bonham Carter, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby and Gillian Anderson.
While Season Six includes various familiar faces from Season Five, the final season has also added some new faces.
Below, find our master list of the show’s historical figures and the actors that portray them.
Prince William’s character in “The Crown” was introduced in Season Four. Since then, six actors have stepped into the role of the current heir apparent to the British throne.
Ed McVey — Season Six
In the later episodes of Season Six, Ed McVey portrays William during his time as a college student at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Rufus Kampa — Season Six
In the first four episodes of "The Crown's" sixth season, Rufus Kampa played William as a teenager. Kampa depicts William as he copes with the end of his parents’ marriage and his mother’s untimely death in August 1997.
Timothée Sambor and Senan West — Season Five
In Season Five, Timothée Sambor and Senan West (the son of Dominic West, who portrays Prince Charles in the show's fifth and sixth seasons) played the part of the young royal as he matured from boyhood.
Lucas Barber-Grant, Elliott Hughes and Jasper Hughes — Season Four
Season Four is the first time William is seen in the series and is shown as a young royal in infancy and early childhood. In this season, William is portrayed by Lucas Barber-Grant, Elliott Hughes and Jasper Hughes.
Catherine, Princess of Wales
Meg Bellamy — Season Six
Meg Bellamy will be the first and only actor to portray Catherine, Princess of Wales. According to Deadline, Bellamy got the role of the princess after auditioning for an open casting call, and this marks her professional screen debut.
In the series' final season, the actor plays the princess in her early adult years before she becomes an official member of the royal family. Season Six depicts Kate Middleton during her younger years as a college student when she meets her future husband, William, at the University of St. Andrews.
Luther Ford — Season Six
In Part Two of "The Crown's" sixth season, Prince Harry will be portrayed by Luther Ford. Little is known about how Harry will be depicted in the later episodes of the final season.
Fflyn Edwards — Season Six
Fflyn Edwards played young Harry in the first four episodes of Season Six. Edwards depicts Harry alongside William in their youth during the first part of the season, experiencing their parents' divorce and then their mother's tragic death.
Teddy Hawley — Season Five
While his appearances are brief, Teddy Hawley was the first actor to depict Harry in the series.
Diana, Princess of Wales
Elizabeth Debicki — Seasons Five and Six
Elizabeth Debicki began her role as Diana, Princess of Wales, in Season Five of the Netflix drama. She received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award nomination for portraying the captivating royal in her early years as a mother.
Season Six sees Debicki portray Diana after her divorce from Charles. The sixth season also covers the tragic car crash in Paris that led to her death.
Emma Corrin — Season Four
In Season Four of "The Crown," actor Emma Corrin became the first actor in the series to portray Diana. Corrin played Diana in her teenage years when she was captivated by her future husband, Charles, who was experiencing internal strife.
Dominic West — Seasons Five and Six
For the final two seasons, West plays the part of the complex and broody prince. West portrays Charles as he deals with inner conflict.
In Season Five, West played Charles during the downfall of his marriage to Diana and his struggle to win over the queen's approval of Camilla Parker Bowles.
In Season Six, West portrays Charles as he continues to try get his mother to publicly approve of Parker Bowles while he rears his sons, William and Harry, after their mother's death.
West is the fourth and final actor to portray Charles in the series.
Josh O’Connor — Seasons Three and Four
Josh O’Connor portrayed the future king during his second phase in the series. He appeared as the young heir apparent.
In Season Four, "The Crown" paints the future monarch in a surprising light — as a sensitive, younger prince burdened by the weight of his inheritance.
Julian Baring — Season Two
Billy Jenkins — Seasons One and Two
Billy Jenkins portrayed Charles in his younger years in Season One and Season Two of “The Crown." In addition to the Netflix series, Jenkins has appeared in the 2018 movie “Holmes & Watson” and four episodes of “Peaky Blinders.”
Camilla Parker Bowles
Today, Camilla is queen consort, but “The Crown” peels back the layers of her early era in which her relationship and subsequent affair with Charles sparked one of the modern British royal family’s most publicized scandals.
Olivia Williams — Seasons Five and Six
In Season Five and Season Six, Olivia Williams portrays Camilla. Season Five shows Camilla's involvement in the early days of Charles' marriage to Diana. Later, the series depicts “Camillagate,” which exposed the private 1989 phone call between the prince and Camilla, which had been illegally recorded. In Season Six, the series continues to show Camilla's struggle to be accepted by the queen.
Emerald Fennell — Seasons Three and Four
Emerald Fennell appeared as the first version of Camilla on "The Crown" in Season Three and continues to play the character in Season Four.
Between Fennell and Williams, Camilla's character emerges as an intricate portrayal of a woman entangled in the politics and ultra-private world of the royal family.
Khalid Abdalla — Seasons Five and Six
British actor Khalid Abdalla, who starred in the 2007 film “The Kite Runner," appeared in Season Five of “The Crown” as Dodi Fayed before he met Diana. His involvement in Season Five is primarily set up through the perspective of his father, Mohamed Al-Fayed.
In Season Six, Abdalla’s character Dodi officially meets Diana through his father. The season highlights their brief, whirlwind affair up until their untimely and tragic deaths.
Amir El-Masry, Salim Daw — Seasons Five and Six
Two actors portrayed the Egyptian businessman in "The Crown." Amir El-Masry appeared as a younger version of the character in Season Five, portraying the billionaire and future owner of Hôtel Ritz Paris in his early years in Egypt. Salim Daw is in both Season Five and Season Six, depicting Al-Fayed's character in his later years.
Queen Elizabeth II
The life and reign of Elizabeth are at the center of the epic Netflix series. The queen has been portrayed by four actors throughout the series, including actor Verity Russell as the monarch in early childhood.
Imelda Staunton — Seasons Five and Six
In the last two seasons of "The Crown," Imelda Staunton plays Elizabeth.
During Season Five, Staunton depicted the queen during what she described as her “annus horribilis,” or “horrible year,” in 1992. At the time, the queen was dealing with three of her children — Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew — going through separations in their marriage.
During the first four episodes of Season Six, Staunton stepped into the queen's shoes while she struggles to publicly accept Charles and Camilla's relationship. She also experiences the news of Diana's tragic death.
Olivia Colman — Seasons Three and Four
Colman played the role of the queen in the series’ third and fourth seasons, which tracks her life between 1964 and 1990.
Colman's two seasons dive into the death and state funeral of Winston Churchill and the queen's relationships with prime ministers Harold Wilson and Margaret Thatcher. Colman also played the queen as the series addresses how Elizabeth's power over her sister Princess Margaret's love life affected their relationship.
In 2020, Olivia Colman won a Golden Globe Award for her role as the queen in “The Crown.”
Claire Foy — Seasons One and Two
Before Staunton and Colman, there was Foy.
The first season of “The Crown” sees Foy as the queen in the early days of her reign, including her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947.
Foy finished her role as Elizabeth with Season Two, which covers the queen's life between 1956 and 1964. Foy portrayed the queen as she gives birth to two of her sons, Andrew and Prince Edward, and meets a young Jackie Kennedy.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Jonathan Pryce — Seasons Five and Six
Tony Award winner Jonathan Pryce plays the final version of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, depicted in "The Crown."
In Season Five and Season Six, Pryce portrays Philip as a consort and husband to Elizabeth in his later years. Elizabeth is shouldering the weight of the British country and concern for her children as they deal with various problems in their relationships. As her husband, Philip bears the burden with her as the two attempt to advise their children on marriage and their public personas.
Tobias Menzies — Seasons Three and Four
Tobias Menzies appeared as Prince Philip in Season Three and Season Four of "The Crown."
During the third season, Philip comes into his role as the queen's trusted advisor while struggling with his accomplishments in an era of incredible human achievement, including Neil Armstrong's first moon landing.
In Season Four, which is Menzies' last season portraying the royal, Philip has gained enough experience to feel that he has the insight to offer Diana as her marriage with Charles begins to crumble. Menzies involvement in the series ended with Philip giving Diana advice that she should see her marriage all the way through.
Finn Elliot — Seasons Two and Three
In a few episodes of Season Two and Season Three of "The Crown," Finn Elliot portrayed the late royal as a child.
Matt Smith — Seasons One and Two
Matt Smith became the first actor to play the Duke of Edinburgh in the series, beginning with Season One.
Smith's version of Philip shines a light on his early days. Upon marrying Elizabeth, Philip became a naturalized British subject and renounced the titles he'd inherited when he was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. The first and second seasons capture his struggle over his shift in power and position, not just as a royal in his own right but as a husband and wife to a queen.
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Queen Elizabeth was the mother of Queen Elizabeth II. In “The Crown,” she is portrayed by three actors: Victoria Hamilton, Marion Bailey and Marcia Warren.
Queen Elizabeth played a significant role in the life of her husband, King George VI, and their daughter, Elizabeth.
Victoria Hamilton — Seasons One and Two
Hamilton depicted Queen Elizabeth in the first two seasons of the series. In Season One, the character is portrayed as a caring wife and queen consort and ultimately, with the death of her husband, a widow and queen mother. Season Two sees her continuation in the role of queen mother and matriarch to the British royal family members, often providing guidance to her daughters.
Throughout the course of her career, Hamilton has appeared in various costume dramas. In addition to portraying Queen Victoria in the 2001 television series "Victoria & Albert," Hamilton has appeared in various adaptations of novels by Jane Austen, including the 1995 series "Pride & Prejudice" starring Colin Firth.
Marion Bailey — Seasons Three and Four
In Season Three, Bailey's version of the Queen Mother schemes to keep Charles and Camilla apart by pairing Camilla with her future husband, Andrew Parker Bowles. Season Four reveals the Queen Mother hid the existence of cousins, who lived in an institution, from the rest of the family.
Bailey is a theater, television and film actor. In addition to "The Crown," she has appeared in the 2004 crime drama "Vera Drake" starring Staunton and the 2014 biographical drama "Mr. Turner" starring Timothy Spall.
Marcia Warren — Seasons Five and Six
Marcia Warren first took on the role of Queen Mother in Season Five and appears as the late monarch in Season Six. During the series' last two seasons, the Queen Mother is a woman in her 90s.
There’s no doubt that the four actors who took on the role of Margaret — Elizabeth’s younger sister — had big shoes to fill when portraying the royal and socialite.
Lesley Manville — Seasons Five and Six
In the series' last two seasons, Lesley Manville stepped into the heels of the glamorous royal tormented by romantic heartaches.
By Season Five, Margaret appears to have been able to forgive her sister's influence on her love life, which ultimately caused the end of her affair with Peter Townsend — the man ultimately believed to be the love of the royal's life.
In Part One of Season Six, Margaret is seen attending Camilla's birthday party thrown by her brother, Charles. Manville also revealed that "The Crown" creator Peter Morgan has made an episode in the last season for Margaret that focuses on "two sisters who really love each other," according to Netflix.
Helena Bonham Carter — Seasons Three and Four
Helena Bonham Carter captured a complex era for the queen's younger sister in "The Crown's" third and fourth seasons. The celebrated actor portrays Margaret during a time when the royal was forced to reconcile her older sister's influence on her love life. At this point in Margaret's story arch, the royal is in her mid-life and is having an affair with British baronet Roddy Llewellyn while her husband Antony Armstrong-Jones is also being unfaithful.
Vanessa Kirby — Seasons One, Two and Five
Kirby became the first actor to appear as Margaret in "The Crown" during Season One.
The actor, who starred in the 2020 movie "Pieces of a Woman," depicted the conflicted royal during a period of experiencing great love and later, devastating romantic loss. She also appeared in one episode of Season Five, according to IMDb.
Beau Gadsdon — Seasons One and Three
In Season One and Season Three of the series, Beau Gadsdon portrayed the princess as a young girl. She also makes an appearance in a later episode in Season Six as young Margaret, according to IMDb.
Prince Andrew, Duke Of York
Prince Andrew, Elizabeth and Philip’s third child, first appeared in the series’ third season. Three actors have taken on the role of the royal who resigned from public duties in 2019 amid scandals.
Marlo Woolley depicted Andrew in Season Three, Tom Byrne depicted the prince in Season Four and James Murray wrapped up the character's appearances in Season Five and Season Six.
Sarah, Duchess of York
In Season Four of "The Crown," Jessica Aquilina became the first to play Sarah Ferguson (married to Andrew from 1986 to 1996). During this season, the duchess, widely known as Fergie, is portrayed as Andrew’s new love interest and later appears as his bride for their wedding.
Emma Laird Craig portrayed the duchess in Season Five, appearing in quick increments prior to her 1996 divorce from the royal, and is expected to return in a later episode in Season Six, according to IMDb.
Anne, Princess Royal
Elizabeth and Philip’s second child and only daughter is portrayed by four actors throughout the drama series.
Claudia Harrison — Seasons Five and Six
Claudia Harrison portrays the series' final version of the British royal in Seasons Five and Six.
In Season Five of "The Crown," the young royal is depicted at the start of a new marriage following the divorce of her first. She's also seen as a confidant to her brother Charles as his marriage to Diana falls apart. Little has been seen of Harrison's Anne in the first part of Season Six, but is expected to make appearances in later episodes.
Erin Doherty — Seasons Three and Four
Rewind back to Seasons Three and Four, and you'll get to see Erin Doherty as Anne. Doherty's previous work includes a leading role in the 2022 miniseries "Chloe" and a part in 2017 for the BBC series "Call the Midwife."
Seasons One and Three
Prior to Doherty, three other actors briefly appeared as Princess Anne. Lyla Barrett-Rye took on the role of the royal in Season Two. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Grace Gilmour and Amelia Gilmour portrayed the princess in Season One and also in some of Season Two.
Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, and Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
The British royal family might have looked entirely different today if it weren’t for the relationship between Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, and Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. Without Simpson in his life, Edward most likely wouldn't have abdicated his role as king, which is what led to the transfer of power to his brother Prince Albert, who became King George VI once he ascended the throne. With George becoming king, his daughter, Elizabeth, would eventually step into the role of queen.
Alex Jennings, Lia Williams — Seasons One, Two and Five
In Seasons One, Two and Five of "The Crown," Alex Jennings and Lia Williams portrayed Edward, who commonly went by David, and Simpson.
Derek Jacobi, Geraldine Chaplin — Season Three
In Season Three, Derek Jacobi and Geraldine Chaplin portrayed Edward and Wallis in later years as seniors.
King George VI
Jared Harris — Seasons One and Two
Jared Harris, who's appeared in "Chernobyl" and "Mad Men," depicted Elizabeth's father George in Season One and Season Two. George was the second oldest son of King George V and, like the rest of the world, was shocked when his older brother Edward abdicated his throne to marry Simpson. Edward's decision would shift the lines of the British royal family and change the course of history, which ultimately led to the production of "The Crown" that so many have come to love and binge today.
Penny Knatchbull, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Natascha McElhone — Season Five
Natascha McElhone played Penny Knatchbull, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, in Season Five.
In "The Crown," Knatchbull is featured as a confidant of Philip — who is nearly 30 years older than she is — and becomes close to him through their shared interest in carriage driving. The series briefly explores how their relationship sparked some rumors of an affair, though underlines that this was ultimately untrue.
Prime Minister John Major
Marc Ozall — Season Four; Jonny Lee Miller — Season Five
A historical drama about the British royal family would not be complete without including the political events that influenced their rule.
Two actors portrayed the former prime minister who served between 1990 and 1997. Marc Ozall appeared as Major in Season Four and Jonny Lee Miller portrayed the figure in Season Five.
Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher
Gillian Anderson, Eva Feiler — Season Four
Two actors, Gillian Anderson and Eva Feiler, appeared as Margaret Thatcher in "The Crown." The former prime minister's character appears only in the fourth season.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
John Lithgow — Seasons One, Two and Three
Winston Churchill, who served as the first prime minister during the queen’s reign, appears in the show's first three seasons and is portrayed by actor John Lithgow.