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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Kyle O'Sullivan

The Crown's unexpected link between all three Prince Philip actors will stun fans

The Crown is back for a band new series full of family dramas, political intrigue and heartbreaking tragedy - as well as an entirely new cast.

The popular Netflix series, which is now following Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the Royal Family during a troubled period in the 90s, will focus on events such as the fire at Windsor Castle, Charles and Diana’s divorce, and her heartbreaking death.

Due to the show spanning over a number of decades, the cast has been completely overhauled every two seasons, with some very big names being recruited.

During the fifth series, the late monarch is played by Harry Potter actress Imelda Staunton, who is following in the footsteps of Oscar winner Olivia Colman and original star Claire Foy, who made a small cameo in a flashback in the opening episode.

Matt Smith as Prince Philip and Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in the first season of The Crown (Netflix)

But one thing that really stands out is the interesting link between all of the actors who have played Prince Philip.

Sir Jonathan Pryce, who was knighted by the late Queen for services to drama last year, is playing the late Duke of Edinburgh in the firth series.

The role was originally played by Doctor Who favourite Matt Smith for the first two seasons, and was then replaced by Rome star Tobias Menzies for series 3 and 4.

All three of the Prince Philip actors are linked together by the Game of Thrones universe.

Matt is currently getting plaudits for his role as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon, the spin-off series to Game of Thrones that aired its first season this year.

Tobias played Edmure Tully in the HBO fantasy drama, the brother of Catelyn Stark who got married at the infamous Red Wedding and one of the few characters who survived.

Tobias Menzies playing Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in season 3 (PA)

While Sir Jonathan appeared in Game of Thrones as the High Sparrow for two seasons - the head of a religious order who imprisoned Cersei Lannister and was blown up by her.

Sir Jonathan, who also starred in James Bond flick Tomorrow Never Dies and the Pirates of the Caribbean series, believes the series will provide comfort to viewers grieving the loss of the Queen.

"I think people will gain a bit of comfort from seeing her embodied again," said the 75-year-old.

As for the rest of the Royal Family, Princess Margaret is played by Phantom Thread actress Lesley Manville, following on from Helena Bonham Carter and Vanessa Kirby.

The Great Gatsby star Elizabeth Debicki has taken over from Emma Corin as Princess Diana, while Trainspotting legend Jonny Lee Miller is Prime Minister John Major.

However, one of the most talked about castings has been Dominic West as King Charles, who was Prince of Wales during the period in question.

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip (NETFLIX)

While West has been complimented for his acting performance, some viewers have admitted they are distracted by his appearance as he is ‘too good looking’ for the role.

Taking to Twitter, one person tweeted: “Dominic West is too handsome to be portraying Prince Charles in The Crown.”

Another added: "#TheCrownNetflix just dropped and I have to say, strong start with the transition from past to present and Claire Foy, but Dominic West is just too handsome for Charles. Elizabeth Debicki is perfect as Diana."

While Dominic is accompanied by his real life son, 13-year-old Senan, who plays Prince William.

Speaking about his son’s role as the future King, Dominic said: “He had never acted before. He had this amazing innocence to him."

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the fifth series before it was even released - mainly due to the scandalous nature of the storylines.

Jonathan as the High Sparrow in Game of Thrones (Shared Content Unit)

After the fourth season, there were increased calls for Netflix to add a disclaimer to the show to make it clear it was a fictionalised version of real historical events.

Dame Judi Dench slammed The Crown for being a “crude sensationalism” and claimed it posed a risk because a “significant number of viewers” would believe everything they see.

The legendary actress wrote that "wounding suggestions apparently contained in the new series" will prove "damaging" to the monarchy and cannot go unchallenged.

"Sir John Major is not alone in his concerns that the latest series of The Crown will present an inaccurate and hurtful account of history (News, Oct 17)," Dame Judi wrote in a letter to The Times.

"Indeed, the closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely it seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism.

"While many will recognise The Crown for the brilliant but fictionalised account of events that it is, I fear that a significant number of viewers, particularly overseas, may take its version of history as being wholly true."

The cast of season 5 of The Crown (AFP via Getty Images)

Netflix bowed to pressure and added this description to the YouTube, online and Twitter description of the show: "Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatisation tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign."

However, such a disclaimer does not pop up before episodes when they are being watched on Netflix.

The Crown previously had to defend themselves after receiving initial backlash from John Major - with the former Prime Minister calling the scenes of the then Prince Charles trying to oust the Queen 'a barrel load of nonsense.'

A spokeswoman for The Crown said: "The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events.

"Series five is a fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the royal family – one that has already been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians."

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