The X Files star is reportedly due to join the cast of Netflix’s The Crown.
As fans of the show will no doubt be aware, series two of The Crown concluded in 1964, after the birth of the Queen’s fourth and final child Prince Edward.
The third series will pick up in the Seventies, and is expected to continue exploring the relationship between the Queen and Prince Philip, as well as giving her children more prominent roles. And, come the fourth series of the show, we will be diving into even more recent history, with the show’s writers set to explore the reportedly frosty relationship between the Queen and the UK’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
And, according to the Sunday Times, none other than Gillian Anderson – who recently won critical acclaim for her stint in Netflix’s Sex Education – will take on the role of the former Conservative prime minister in series four of the show, with filming due to begin over the summer. However, her casting has yet to be confirmed by Netflix.
If Anderson does take on the role of Thatcher, however, she will be joining a royally good cast. Here’s who will be playing the show’s most prominent roles, including that of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, in The Crown’s third and fourth series’.
Camilla Parker Bowles – Emerald Fennell
Actress Emerald Fennell will play a younger Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in the third series of The Crown. The actress is best known for her role as Patsy Mount in Call The Midwife.
The third season of the royal drama will chart when Camilla first met the Prince of Wales, who will be played by Josh O’Connor.
Speaking about the role, the actress said: “I’m absolutely over the moon, and completely terrified, to be joining the many hugely talented people on The Crown.
“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.”
Prince Charles – Josh O’Connor
BAFTA nominated Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country) is set to take on the role of Prince Charles in the upcoming season of The Crown.
It is an important role: indeed, speaking at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival 2017, producer Suzanne Mackie said that the new season will chart the beginnings of Charles and Princess Diana’s relationship, and will also see the introduction of Charles’ second wife Camilla Parker-Bowles.
It should also cover the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, the birth of Prince Edward (March 1964), and Prince Charles’ movement into the public eye following his coronation as the Prince of Wales in 1969.
Speaking about the role, the actor said: “I am thrilled to be joining The Firm for the next instalment of The Crown. Seasons 3 and 4 will follow some of the most turbulent events in the Prince of Wales’s life and our national story and I’m excited to be bringing to life the man in the midst of it all.”
He added: “I’m very aware it’s a formidably talented family to be joining, but reliably informed I have the ears for the part and will fit right in.”
Queen Mother –Marion Bailey
Marion Bailey (Allied) will channel the formidable Queen Mother in the upcoming season.
“Wonderful to be joining The Crown,” she said. “It’s a brilliant show and we have a tough act to follow but what a gift to be playing the fascinating and greatly loved Queen Mother. Thrilled to be on board and working with such a top notch team.”
Erin Doherty – Princess Anne
In the third season of The Crown, Erin Doherty will play Princess Anne.
The actress, who has appeared in Call the Midwife, said it feels “ridiculously special and surreal” to join the show.
“There is such a rare dynamic within Princess Anne that I am incredibly grateful to be able to explore,” she added.
“She is a woman of great strength and heart, and I feel privileged to fight her corner.”
Queen Elizabeth – Olivia Colman
As previously reported, Olivia Colman will be stepping into Foy’s queenly shoes for the third season of the critically-acclaimed show.
“I’m so thrilled to be part of The Crown,” said Colman. “I was utterly gripped watching it, a proper ‘just one more’ feeling.”
Paying homage to her predecessor, she continued: “I think Claire Foy is an absolute genius. She’s an incredibly hard act to follow. I’m basically going to rewatch every episode and copy her!”
Prince Phillip – Tobias Menzies
Tobias Menzies, best known for appearing as Edmure Tully in Game of Thrones and in the dual roles of Frank/Black Jack Randall in Outlander, will play the sulky prince in the next series of Netflix’s hit royal drama.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the new cast of The Crown and to be working with Olivia Colman again,” said Menzies.
“I look forward to becoming her ‘liege man of life and limb’.”
Prime Minister Harold Wilson – Jason Watkins
Jason Watkins has also been announced as a new addition to the cast, playing Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the hit historical drama.
The actor said: “I am delighted to become part of this exceptional show. Harold Wilson is a significant and fascinating character in our history, so I’m looking forward to bringing him to life through a decade that transformed us culturally and politically.”
He added that he was “excited” to be working so closely with Olivia and the whole team.
Princess Margaret – Helena Bonham Carter
Yes, you read that right: the actual HELENA BONHAM CARTER is joining the show. And, as the actress previously played the Queen Mother in The King’s Speech, there’s an extra-special royal link: she’s basically playing her own daughter this time around.
“I’m not sure which I’m more terrified about — doing justice to the real Princess Margaret or following in the shoes of Vanessa Kirby’s Princess Margaret,” Bonham Carter said in a statement.
“The only thing I can guarantee is that I’ll be shorter [than Vanessa].”
The casting news comes hot on the heels of The Crown’s recent pay scandal, in which it was revealed that Foy had been paid less than her co-star, Smith.
After her wage packet was made public (Foy was reportedly paid $40,000 per episode for the first two series), the producers of the show issued an apology to both her and her male co-star over the pay disparity.
“We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own,” said a spokesperson for Left Bank Pictures.
“Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.”
Executive producer Suzanne Mackie later promised: “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,”
You can read more on the gender pay gap here.
This article was originally published on 4 May 2018.