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The royal treatment

The royal treatment
COURTESY NETFLIX

The Crown tells the dramatic tale of the rise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from a little girl born a relatively minor British princess to the revered queen of the United Kingdom. The general consensus among viewers and critics is that all four of the Netflix show’s seasons thus far have been nothing short of riveting (albeit somewhat fictionalised), as well as superbly acted.

So now, as we eagerly await Season 5 and the new cast members who will be playing older versions of the “characters” we’ve come to feel we know personally, let’s see how the actors from The Crown compare to the real-life royals and other characters in their world.

Queen Elizabeth II as a young woman, as played by Claire Foy

Queen Elizabeth II as a young woman, as played by Claire Foy
GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY NETFLIX

Claire Foy’s portrayal of the Queen from young adulthood through the first decade or so of middle age has been an absolute revelation. Thanks to Foy’s deeply felt, Emmy-winning portrayal, it feels as though we have a sense of the Queen as a person. And by that, we mean as a devoted daughter, a young woman in love, a mother, a politician, a boss-in-training who is excited but trepidatious about assuming the top leadership role in her “Firm,” and, ultimately, the boss.

Of course, it’s hard to capture someone’s entire life in just a few short hours. Here are another 32 things you probably still don’t know about Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth II in middle age, as played by Olivia Colman

Queen Elizabeth II in middle age, as played by Olivia Colman
GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY NETFLIX

After seeing Claire Foy, it was hard to imagine how the role of the Queen could possibly be filled by another. However, the moment we first laid eyes on Olivia Colman as the middle-aged monarch, we were hooked. Not surprisingly, Colman won a Golden Globe for her portrayal, which follows the Queen into her 50s.

“For the last year, I feel like I’ve been living someone else’s life, and now I feel like I’m winning someone else’s award,” Colman said during her slightly tipsy (by her own account) acceptance speech.

Prince Philip as a young man, as played by Matt Smith

Prince Philip as a young man, as played by Matt Smith
GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY NETFLIX

The husband of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, now 99, is arguably an even more challenging role for an actor to tackle than the Queen herself because the former Prince of Greece and Denmark and current Duke of Edinburgh is such a force of nature. However, Doctor Who alum Matt Smith delivered an on-point portrayal of the charming, handsome military man Princess Elizabeth fell in love with when she was only 13 years old.

Here are some things you still may not know about Queen Elizabeth’s marriage.

Prince Philip in middle age, as played by Tobias Menzies

Prince Philip in middle age, as played by Tobias Menzies
GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY NETFLIX

Following Matt Smith as Prince Philip was a formidable task, but Tobias Menzies came through as the middle-aged husband of Queen Elizabeth, perhaps better than anyone else might have. Truth be told, the role of Prince Philip was far less meaty in the Menzies seasons than in the Smith seasons. However, the scene in which Menzies as Philip attempts to talk reason to an agitated and desperately unhappy Princess Diana couldn’t have been more perfect. In it, we see the awkwardness that the not-quite-patriarch might have been feeling as he tried to school his headstrong daughter-in-law on what was what in the world of royalty.

Prince Charles as a young man, as played by Josh O’Connor

Prince Charles as a young man, as played by Josh O’Connor
GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY NETFLIX

It may be difficult to believe today, but on the day of his wedding to Lady Diana Spencer, Prince Charles was perceived by the world as a real-life Prince Charming. Tall and not-too-bad-looking despite having rather large ears, he was the slightly socially awkward future king of England. And he was marrying the sweet, statuesque kindergarten teacher with the enormous blue eyes, who was already well on her way to becoming the most beloved woman of the 20th century. As it turned out, the Princess’s popularity would play a role in alienating the Prince’s love…but so would the Prince’s love of a married commoner named Camilla Parker Bowles.

But enough about Prince Charles. Let’s talk about Josh O’Connor, shall we? Thanks to O’Connor’s charming, brilliant, adorable, and, yes, big-eared portrayal of the Prince of Wales, the future king’s reputation has been restored. Or nearly so. As much dirt as we believe we know about the royal couple’s doomed marriage, O’Connor has made it almost impossible for us to continue to dislike the man who rejected Princess Diana and idolised Camilla. He’s almost helped us to understand what the Prince saw in Camilla, whom he eventually married in 2005.

See how a body language expert analyses 13 iconic pictures of Charles and Diana.

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Prince Charles as a teenager, as played by Julian Baring

Prince Charles as a teenager, as played by Julian Baring
GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY NETFLIX

The fact that Josh O’Connor transformed Prince Charles into a heartthrob is not to say that Julian Baring’s portrayal is any less brilliant – nor is it any less charming. Baring brought true pathos to the teenage prince, who was ill-suited for the sporty boarding school, Gordonstoun, that his father insisted he attend. If we weren’t exactly swooning over Baring as Charles, it is no doubt because Baring was only 13 when he took on the role, and the script for the early seasons of The Crown did not present Charles as a romantic lead so much as a misunderstood, and sometimes petulant, teenager.

Here are 13 things that will happen when Prince Charles becomes king.

Princess Diana, as played by Emma Corrin

Princess Diana, as played by Emma Corrin
GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY NETFLIX

Take a look at these rarely seen photos of Diana and then see if you can honestly tell them apart from Emma Corrin’s portrayal of the doomed princess and mother of Princes William and Harry. Corrin so completely embodies Princess Diana, it was almost painful for her superfans (like us) to watch – but obviously not so much that we didn’t watch. In fact, we couldn’t not watch whenever Corrin appeared on screen. We’d be inclined to say that it’s hard to imagine The Crown’s recasting of Princess Diana, but we’ve already seen the publicity photos of Elizabeth Debicki as a slightly older (but eternally youthful) version, and we suspect Debicki’s portrayal will be equally breathtaking.

Here are 12 ‘facts’ about Princess Diana that just aren’t true.

Camilla Parker Bowles, as played by Emerald Fennell

Camilla Parker Bowles, as played by Emerald Fennell
GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY NETFLIX

Meet The Crown’s reinvented version of the former Camilla Shand. As played by Emerald Fennell, the “other woman” in the Wales marriage is a pillow-lipped beauty who tries and tries and tries to get Charles to stay with Diana.

Although The Crown is historical fiction, rather than a docudrama or historical reenactment, it’s still a bit stunning to see the story told in this way – with this gorgeous, likable actress playing the role of a woman who carried on a long-term affair with the husband of the beloved People’s Princess and ended up succeeding Diana as the future queen (or something like that).

Lear more about the conspiracy to keep Charles and Camilla apart.

Princess Margaret Rose of York as a young woman, as played by Vanessa Kirby

Princess Margaret Rose of York as a young woman, as played by Vanessa Kirby
GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY NETFLIX

Princess Margaret was the Queen’s beloved younger sister. Because she was never going to be queen, Margaret was known more for her beauty and, if we’re being frank, her antics than virtually anything else. Vanessa Kirby plays Princess Margaret as a young woman in The Crown, and the likeness, mannerisms and acting are astounding. Many viewers are especially fond of Kirby’s depiction of Princess Margaret as a star-crossed lover of the married Group Captain Peter Townsend. Despite Townsend’s having obtained a divorce and the couple’s desire to marry, they parted ways to avoid a scandal that might have tarnished Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

The Crown doesn’t show Princess Margaret having a child out of wedlock, but conspiracy theorists insist this is, at some point, what came to pass.

Here are other crazy conspiracies about the royal family.

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