Despite the fact that we’re still waiting on the 4th season of Netflix’s The Crown (seriously, my patience is wearing thinner than a pair of tasteful modesty hose over here), we’re being given some casting crumbs for the future 5th and 6th seasons. The 5th season time-jumps forward into a new era, which means all the actors get replaced with older versions of their characters. Imelda Staunton will play the oldest and final version of Queen Elizabeth II (previously played by Claire Foy, then Olivia Colman), Lesley Manville will play Princess Margaret (previously played by Vanessa Kirby, then Helena Bonham Carter). Following in the footsteps of the overpaid Matt Smith and the perfectly uncomfortable-looking Tobias Menzies will be Jonathan Pryce as The Crown’s most blunt royal, Prince Philip.
Deadline reports that Jonathan is confirmed for both seasons 5 and 6, which will reportedly take place into the early 2000s, which likely means the 5th season will pick up sometime in the 90s. Filming is scheduled to begin in July 2021. The third time-jump will likely premiere on Netflix sometime in 2022.
It’s not known who will play other major characters, like the late 80s/early 90s-era Prince Charles, or if we’re going to see more of Prince Andrew featured in the later seasons (my sincerest condolences to whichever actor gets that thankless job). All we really have are the Queen, her sister, and her grumpy-ass husband. I suppose if you need to quell any anxieties over who will be cast as Charles n’ Di-era Princess Diana, you could always skip on over to Netflix’s latest royal family offering, Diana: A New Musical, and get your Diana casting fix there. Then again, if the reviews are to be believed, that might only make things worse. Please consume at your own discretion.
Any actor who signs on to play Prince Philip really only has to nail two things: looking vaguely like him, and his (ahem) general vibe. And anyone who has watched even one episode of The Crown knows Prince Philip isn’t exactly the hero of the show. So I’m sorry in advance to Jonathan Pryce, for all the inevitable scowls and hisses he’s about to get once season 5 drops. I’m also sorry to Jonathan Price for my immediate reaction to this news. At first, I thought he’s much too nice and sweet to play such a crusty old Duke. But then I remembered Jonathan Pryce played Madonna’s husband in Evita, which means he has experience with period piece drama. THEN I remembered that Jonathan Pryce played the evil, snobby, social-climbing aristocratic schemer Alistair Payne in the classic British melodrama What a Girl Wants. So obviously Jonathan has what it takes to play The Crown’s version of Philip. He might have to practice saying, “How dreadful!” in the mirror a couple times, but that’s it.