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Where You've Seen The Cast Of The Crown Before

Since it first hit Netflix in 2016, "The Crown" has become one of the streaming service's biggest success stories. It's won a whole host of awards and received widespread critical acclaim, in addition to starting plenty of conversations about the royal family's prominence on the global stage. Though "The Crown" has also been criticized for getting certain elements of the true story wrong, even this cannot stop its meteoric rise. Perhaps most impressively, it was defended by Prince Harry himself on "The Late Late Show with James Corden." 

How did it garner such a glittering reputation? By telling an excellent story. "The Crown" charts the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, from her ascension to the throne at the age of 25 to her public struggles in the 1990s. To capture the passage of time, "The Crown" has recast its major characters every two seasons. Seasons 5 and 6, the last of the series, feature an impeccable slate of actors from across the entertainment landscape. Many of their faces will be familiar, but you may not know exactly where you've seen them before. Not to worry — we're here to help. This is where you've seen the cast of "The Crown" before.

Imelda Staunton – Queen Elizabeth II

Imelda Staunton, who plays Queen Elizabeth II on Seasons 5 and 6 of "The Crown," follows up superb performances in the same role from Claire Foy and Olivia Colman. In an interview on the BBC's "Woman's Hour," Staunton remarked, "I think my sort of extra challenge, as if I needed it, is that I'm now doing the Queen that we're a little more familiar with." Moreover, Staunton's tenure encompasses some of the most turbulent times of the queen's entire reign. But if anyone is capable of shouldering this immense task, it's her.

Staunton has appeared in a wide variety of productions over the years. She's instantly recognizable to millions of "Harry Potter" fans as Dolores Umbridge, the odious Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher from "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." Beyond this, she's best known for her roles in smash-hit period films like "Shakespeare in Love," "Sense and Sensibility," and "Downton Abbey." On the small screen, she's enjoyed leading parts on major television series, such as "Return to Cranford" and "The Girl." Staunton has also had a glittering stage career, highlighted by major roles in legendary musicals such as "Gypsy" and "Sweeney Todd" (via London Theatre).

Jonathan Pryce – Prince Philip

The role of Prince Philip is the second-most important on "The Crown," after the queen herself. The series charts his complicated rise to the top, his relationship with Elizabeth, and his struggles with fatherhood. Matt Smith was the first actor to portray this complex figure, followed by Tobias Menzies, and, finally, Jonathan Pryce.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (via The Guardian), Pryce has worked extensively in the theater and on the screen. He has been nominated for a wide array of awards, including BAFTAs, Academy Awards, and Primetime Emmy Awards, for roles in productions like "The Two Popes," "Barbarians at the Gate," and "Cranford." Many viewers recognize him from his role in the popular HBO fantasy series "Game of Thrones," where he played the religious leader known as the High Sparrow. Others might recall his leading performances in surreal dystopian comedy "Brazil," big-budget musical "Evita," or the mega-popular "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. Elsewhere on the small screen, Pryce has recently enjoyed roles on "Taboo" and "Wolf Hall."

Lesley Manville – Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, is a dazzlingly multifaceted character. Sister to the queen, her wild actions and statements cause no end of controversy. Vanessa Kirby plays the character in Seasons 1 and 2, while Helena Bonham Carter takes over for Seasons 3 and 4. Lesley Manville, who portrays this poignant figure in Seasons 5 and 6, is the last performer to step into the princess' shoes.

A widely celebrated actor, Manville's filmography is studded with some of the past few decades' best films. She's enjoyed roles in high-profile movies like "Phantom Thread," "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris," and "Another Year." On the small screen, she's played leads in successful series including "Mum" and "River." Younger viewers might recognize her as Flittle, a feather-headed fairy from "Maleficent" and its sequel, "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil." Notably, that role puts her together with former Queen Elizabeth II actress Imelda Staunton — and it's not the only one. Staunton and Manville also co-starred in the celebrated drama "Vera Drake."

Dominic West – Prince Charles

Though he's just a child in Seasons 1 and 2 of "The Crown," Prince Charles' role expands in Seasons 3 and 4 as he takes on more responsibility and marries Princess Diana. Josh O'Connor takes on the duties of playing Charles in these pivotal seasons, and is succeeded by Dominic West.

West has enjoyed a very diverse career on the big and small screens. TV fans might know him from the critically acclaimed HBO series "The Wire," where he played Detective Jimmy McNulty. He also distinguished himself as Jean Valjean in the BBC's 2019 adaptation of "Les Misérables." When it comes to film, West is best known for his roles in "Richard III," "Chicago," 300," "Tomb Raider," and "John Carter." He also had a minor part in "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" as the guard Jerus Jannick.

Claudia Harrison – Princess Anne

Erin Doherty plays the no-nonsense Princess Anne in Seasons 3 and 4, and is succeeded by Claudia Harrison. Although Anne's role is relatively minor, especially compared to her eldest brother, she becomes more and more important as she takes on greater duties. As Anne contributed to the queen's "annus horribilis" by divorcing Captain Mark Phillips in 1992, Seasons 5 and 6 are even more eventful for the character.

Harrison may not be familiar to international audiences, as most of her on-screen roles have come in British productions. Since making her debut in the 2000 series "Attachments," she has landed guest appearances in dozens of shows, including "Little Britain," "New Tricks," and "The IT Crowd." Harrison was a regular on the BBC crime drama "Murphy's Law," portraying Anne Guthrie opposite James Nesbitt in the television series and associated film. More recently, Harrison has enjoyed recurring roles on sci-fi series "Humans" and comedy-drama "Delicious."

Elizabeth Debicki – Princess Diana

Initially played by Emma Corrin, Princess Diana struggles to become part of the royal family in Season 4. Season 5 sees Elizabeth Debicki take on the role as a slightly older Diana, who must navigate a very public separation, divorce, and the constant presence of the press.

An Australian actress, Debicki studied at the Victorian College of the Arts. Shortly after graduating, she landed a minor role in "A Few Best Men." This was soon topped by her performance as Jordan Baker in Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby." In the years since that film introduced her to international audiences, Debicki's star has risen higher and higher. She played Alice in "Widows" and Kat in "Tenet," to name just two of her most high-profile film roles, and also appeared in celebrated TV series like "The Night Manager" and "The Kettering Incident." Marvel fans may also recognize her as high priestess Ayesha from "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2."

James Murray – Prince Andrew

Despite his seniority in the royal family, Prince Andrew is a relatively minor character on "The Crown." Tom Byrne, who portrays the character in Season 4, still manages to make an impact, however, with his vivid performance as a young royal growing more and more self-satisfied. James Murray takes over the role in Seasons 5 and 6, which encompass a particularly turbulent period in the prince's life.

Over the course of his impressive career, Murray has appeared in dozens of television shows and films. His first major screen role came in 1998, when he appeared on five episodes of the long-running soap opera "Coronation Street." After that, he became a regular on British TV screens as part of the main cast of shows like "Primeval," "Defiance," and "Cucumber." In 2020, he enjoyed particular success as John Houseman on the celebrated crime drama "McDonald & Dodds."

Marcia Warren – Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

One of the queen's best sources of stability and advice is her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. She's a major figure in Seasons 1 and 2, where she's played by Victoria Hamilton, and Seasons 3 and 4, where she's played by Marion Bailey. Marcia Warren portrays her in the final two seasons of "The Crown," which capture the final years of the character's long and distinguished life.

Warren is a celebrated stage actor, having snagged two Laurence Olivier Awards for her performances in "Stepping Out" and "Humble Boy." She's likely best known to British TV fans from shows like "No Place Like Home," "Edge of Heaven," and "Vicious." Movie-goers are most likely to know her from her performances in "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie" and "Don't Get Me Started." Fans of the smash-hit series "Sherlock" might also recognize her from the Season 4 episode "The Six Thatchers," where she plays Vivian Norbury.

Olivia Williams – Camilla Parker Bowles

Camilla Parker Bowles is an incredibly important character on "The Crown." Emerald Fennell plays her in Seasons 3 and 4, which showcase her complex relationship with Prince Charles. Olivia Williams takes over the role in Seasons 5 and 6, which chronicle Prince Charles' deteriorating marriage and the role Camilla plays in it.

Williams rose to fame as Jane Fairfax in the ITV television film "Emma." She went on to join the cast of "Rushmore" and "The Sixth Sense," which majorly increased her fame. More recently, Williams has earned acclaim as Emily Silk on the sci-fi thriller series "Counterpart" and Ruth Lang in "The Ghost Writer." Notably, Williams has worked with Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Elizabeth II in Seasons 3 and 4 of "The Crown": The pair played sisters in the 2017 play "Mosquitoes," and also appear together in the award-winning film "The Father."

Jonny Lee Miller – John Major

Jonny Lee Miller plays British politician John Major in Season 5 of "The Crown." Major served as Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher, before taking over as Prime Minister in 1990. While he doesn't make an appearance in earlier seasons, he has an important part to play in Season 5 as the leader of the United Kingdom's government.

Miller first rose to prominence playing Dade Murphy in '90s cult classic "Hackers." He followed this up by appearing in "Trainspotting," where he played the youngster known as Sick Boy. Miller has enjoyed many major television roles, including the villainous Jordan Chase on "Dexter" and Sherlock Holmes on the CBS series "Elementary." An experienced stage performer, he won the Olivier Award in 2012 alongside Benedict Cumberbatch for his lead performance in "Frankenstein" (via Official London Theatre). Uniquely, that role saw him play both the titular doctor and his creation.

Timothy Dalton – Peter Townsend

Previously played by Ben Miles, Peter Townsend is portrayed by Timothy Dalton from Season 5 onward. The former equerry to King George VI and the queen, he becomes romantically involved with Princess Margaret in Seasons 1 and 2. The pair even plan on getting married, before they're persuaded to abandon the idea due to the controversy it would cause.

Dalton is probably best known as James Bond: He portrays the fictional spy in "The Living Daylights" and "Licence to Kill." Beyond that, he's well-known for his performances in films like "The Lion in Winter," "Hot Fuzz," and "The Rocketeer." Dalton's small screen career is just as impressive, and spans an enormous variety of genres. Some of his most notable modern roles include Rassilon on sci-fi series "Doctor Who," the Chief on avant-garde superhero saga "Doom Patrol," and Sir Malcolm Murray on horror drama "Penny Dreadful."

Andrew Havill – Robert Fellowes

According to The Independent, Robert Fellowes held a significant amount of influence as the queen's private secretary. He was also brother-in-law to Princess Diana and is related to the Duchess of York, which ties him to the royal family in a number of fascinating ways. Experienced actor Andrew Havill brings the character to brilliant life on Seasons 5 and 6 of "The Crown."

With his vast history of performing on stage, in television, and on the silver screen, Havill has dozens of credits to his name. According to About the Artists, Havill has appeared in numerous theatrical productions since the 1980s, including the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1989 rendition of "Hamlet" and a 2012 performance of "This House." Perhaps best known for his roles in costume dramas, Havill has appeared in shows and films including "Les Misérables," "Downton Abbey," and "The Imitation Game." More recently, Havill has enjoyed supporting roles in "Endeavour" and "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

Emma Laird Craig – Sarah, Duchess of York

Emma Laird Craig plays Sarah, Duchess of York in Seasons 5 and 6 of "The Crown." The character goes through a highly publicized divorce with Prince Andrew, and is involved in a number of other events that contribute to the queen's "annus horribilis." Today, she remains a fixture of the British tabloids and is an avid philanthropist (per Marie Claire.)

Craig is a relative newcomer to the screen, having only a few small roles to her name. She had a role in the TV movie "Casting Nina" and made a minor appearance in the long-running British soap opera "EastEnders" as a paramedic. Perhaps most notably, she played Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter's beloved Transfiguration professor, in "Minerva and the Wicked Heist," a short fan film. Craig might not have as many credits to her name as other actors on "The Crown," but she's certainly the only one to have starred as that iconic educator.

Natascha McElhone – Penelope Knatchbull

Natascha McElhone plays Penelope Knatchbull in Seasons 5 and 6 of "The Crown." She enters the story after marrying Lord Romsey, grandson of Lord Mountbatten, who is killed by a bomb in Season 4's "Gold Stick." Knatchbull is well known for being Prince Philip's close confidante: According to Cosmopolitan, She was one of only 30 mourners at his COVID-restricted funeral.

McElhone made her television debut in 1990 on "The Ruth Rendell Mysteries." She went on to land roles in "Absolutely Fabulous" and "Karaoke." Things kicked into high gear when she was cast in "The Truman Show" as Truman's college roommate Sylvia. McElhone proceeded to snag significant parts in films like "Solaris" and "Ronin" before landing the role of Karen on "Californication." More recently, she has starred on shows like "Designated Survivor," "Halo," and "The First." Her filmography is notable for its incredible range of genres — few actors star on a sci-fi series like "Halo" and a prestige historical drama like "The Crown" simultaneously.

Bertie Carvel – Tony Blair

Tony Blair, the Labour Party leader and eventual Prime Minister, makes his entrance into "The Crown" in Season 5. He played a pivotal role in the British political landscape of the 1990s, as you might imagine. He was also in charge when Princess Diana died, and memorably eulogized her as "the people's princess" (via The New York Times). Suffice it to say, a role like this requires a capable actor. That capable actor is Bertie Carvel.

Like much of the cast, Carvel is familiar to British audiences, but less well-known internationally. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he has twice won the Laurence Olivier Award for his performances in "Matilda the Musical" and "Ink." On the silver screen, Carvel has only played two roles: Bamatabois in 2012's "Les Misérables" and Banquo in 2021's "The Tragedy of Macbeth." He's considerably busier on the small screen, however, where he's appeared on "Doctor Who," "Sherlock," and "The Crimson Petal and the White." Recently, he earned impressive acclaim for his performance as Jonathan Strange on "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell."