The Crown had largely assembled its major players for its final two seasons. Imelda Staunton is set as Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce is attached as her husband Prince Philip, Lesley Manville is on board as Princess Margaret, and Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana. That left the major question of who would play Prince Charles in the final two seasons. Josh O’Connor has done an outstanding job in his tenure, but the role must be recast as the show moves into the future and the characters get older.
Variety reports that the role has gone to Dominic West. While Seasons 3 and 4 opted for lesser-known actors to play the famous royals Charles and Diana, they’ve clearly opted for more seasoned and established players to take on the roles in the final two seasons, which will center on the dissolution of Charles and Diana’s marriage.
These are obviously key roles since the Charles and Diana saga not only captured the world’s imagination, but they also play into the thematic stakes established in earlier seasons. The Crown has always taken a pro-monarchist bent, focusing the conflict on personal desires versus public obligations. Elizabeth’s goals have always been to work against personal desire since they see Prince Edward’s abdication, which he did out of love for Wallis Simpson, as an event that almost killed the monarchy (at least from the view of the royals). For Charles, the future King (no one thought Elizabeth would live to be a billion years old, but she’s still with us), getting divorced was a major fracture, especially since Diana was so beloved by the public. While The Crown began as Elizabeth’s story, it’s clear that in its closing seasons there will be a major focus on Charles and Diana, and I’m eager to see what West and Debicki do with their roles.
Season 4 of The Crown premieres on Netflix on November 15th.