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Its actors were replaced for the third and fourth seasons to reflect the aging of the characters.
Emma Corrin (Diana) and Josh O'Connor (Charles) just won Golden Globes for their performances.
Netflix's beloved original series "The Crown" rehashes all the royal drama behind Queen Elizabeth II's reign as the British monarch - and it was just named the Best Drama Series at the Golden Globes for the second time.
The first two seasons, set in the late '40s through the early '60s, were highly praised for the performances, but the actors on the show aren't just talented, they also look a lot like the real people that their roles are based on.
The third season takes place in the late '60s and early '70s. Season four, which dropped in November, covered the '80s, with the addition of Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher. The original cast members have been replaced to reflect the aging of the characters.
Here's how both batches of formidable actors compare to the real people they play on the show.
Caroline Praderio contributed to an earlier version of this post.
Claire Foy played Queen Elizabeth II in the early days of her reign.
Here's what the Queen really looked like at her coronation in 1953. She was 25 years old.
Queen Elizabeth II had a ground-breaking coronation, as it was the first ever to be televised. According to the Royal Family's official website, the historical event was watched by 27 million people in the UK alone.
Olivia Colman has taken over the lead role.
Netflix unveiled its first look at the older Queen in July 2018.
"I'm so thrilled to be part of 'The Crown,'" Colman wrote in a statement. "I think Claire Foy is an absolute genius. She's an incredibly hard act to follow."
Imelda Staunton will take over in season five.
Elizabeth was a mother of four and a global icon by the mid '60s.
Elizabeth gave birth to her fourth and youngest child, Prince Edward, in 1964. Her role on the world stage continued to grow throughout the '60s.
She established her "walkabout" tradition, something like an informal meet-and-greet, during a trip to New Zealand in 1970.
According to "Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family: A Glorious Illustrated History," it has allowed her to establish a closer connection to thousands of subjects and "signaled a radical break with centuries of tradition."
Matt Smith played the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the early seasons.
This is what Prince Philip looked like after the official announcement of his engagement to Elizabeth in 1947.
Tobias Menzies plays an older Prince Philip.
"I'm thrilled to be joining the new cast of 'The Crown' and to be working with Olivia Colman again," Menzies wrote in a statement. "I look forward to becoming her 'liege man of life and limb.'"
Jonathan Pryce will take over in season five.
Philip continued to stand by Elizabeth's side, executing royal duties throughout the '70s.
Philip was awarded the Order of the Merit by the Queen in 1968, a highly exclusive honor that recognizes "great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning, literature and science."
Vanessa Kirby was the first to portray Princess Margaret, the Queen's younger sister.
On the first two seasons of "The Crown," Margaret is portrayed as a vivacious, intelligent, yet somewhat rebellious young adult.
Here's a young Margaret in 1951, four months ahead of her 21st birthday.
She was Queen Elizabeth II's only sibling.
Helena Bonham Carter took over the role as Princess Margaret on season three.
Princess Margaret still remains one of the most stylish royals in history, and the image captures the new decade: Bonham Carter is wearing a winged eyeliner, a make-up trend that became popular throughout the '60s, which is very different from how Kirby was styled on the first two seasons as the same character.
Lesley Manville will take over in season five.
Here's Margaret, left, at the investiture of Prince Charles.
She and her husband had welcomed two children by this time: David and Sarah, who were briefly introduced at the end of "The Crown's" second season.
Margaret was often followed by photographer Ray Bellisario, the "original paparazzo."
In seasons one and two, Ben Miles played Peter Townsend, who had a controversial romance with Princess Margaret.
Here's Townsend in 1955, the same year he and Margaret reunited as a couple.
Because she was under 25, Margaret had to ask for Queen Elizabeth's permission to marry him. But because he was previously divorced, Queen Elizabeth refused. The Church of England and Parliament were also said to be against the match.
She tried again to marry him in 1955, after she turned 25 and would no longer need the Queen's permission. But Parliament said they'd revoke her royal privileges if she married a divorcee.
Matthew Goode joined the cast as Margaret's husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, in season two.
Margaret reportedly met her future husband, a magazine photographer, at a dinner party in 1958. He photographed a famous portrait of her in 1959. Their relationship was kept very private in the beginning.
Armstrong-Jones is better known as Lord Snowden.
Three years after announcing that she would not marry Townsend, Margaret married Armstrong-Jones.
They tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960 in the first royal wedding to be broadcast on TV.
Ben Daniels portrays an older Armstrong-Jones.
After the birth of their daughter in 1964, Armstrong-Jones reportedly began sleeping with other women while away on photographic assignments, according to The Evening Standard.
Here's Armstrong-Jones with his wife in 1970.
After years of reported infidelity on both sides, the couple separated in 1976. Two years later, Margaret became the first royal to divorce since Henry VIII, who reigned in the 1500s.
Harry Treadaway played Princess Margaret's longtime "toy boy" Roddy Llewellyn.
When the two began dating in 1973, Llewellyn was 25 and Margaret was 43.
Here's the real Llewellyn in 1978.
The two dated for eight years, and their relationship played a part in the dissolution of Margaret's marriage. He later married Tatiana Soskin in 1981.
Jared Harris played King George VI, Elizabeth II's father.
King George VI reluctantly claimed the throne in 1937, after his older brother gave it up in order to marry an American socialite, Wallis Simpson.
Here's George VI in his official coronation portrait from 1937.
Elizabeth II became Queen directly following his death in 1952.
Alex Jennings played King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 in the first two seasons.
Directly after his father died in 1936, Edward VIII took the throne. Less than a year later, he renounced it in a scandalous, unprecedented move.
Here's the real Edward after the abdication, in 1940.
Edward had thrown the royal family into disarray by proposing to an American divorcee.
As head of the Church of England, which did not allow divorced people to remarry at the time, he was unable to remain king and continue with his nuptials.
"I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King [...] without the help and support of the woman I love," he said in a radio address to the nation in December 1936.
Derek Jacobi played the former king for a single episode in season three.
Jacobi played the Duke of Windsor at the end of his life for his final appearance, to once again ask for forgiveness from his niece, the Queen.
Here's what Edward looked like in 1966.
He died in 1972 at the age of 77. He had last seen the Queen just 10 days before his death.
Lia Williams played American socialite Wallis Simpson, who became Edward VIII's wife.
Simpson was divorced twice before she fell in love with the royal.
Williams looks remarkably like the real Wallis Simpson, pictured here in 1935.
Edward and Simpson married in 1937 and stayed together until Edward's death in 1972. (And she wasn't the only commoner who married into royalty.)
Geraldine Chaplin took over the role for season three.
She was nominated for a Golden Globe for playing her own grandmother, Hannah Chaplin, in 1992's "Chaplin" starring Robert Downey Jr.
This is the real Simpson in 1975.
Simpson died in 1986 at the age of 89.
Victoria Hamilton played Queen Elizabeth, the mother of Queen Elizabeth II.
Elizabeth was the wife of King George VI. She gave birth to her eldest daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II, in 1926. She welcomed her second daughter, Margaret, in 1930.
Here's the real Elizabeth, who was known fondly as the Queen Mother, in 1953.
She wore black for a full year following her husband's death on February 6, 1952.
Marion Bailey plays the Queen Mother in seasons three and four.
"Wonderful to be joining 'The Crown,'" she said in a statement. "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."
This is what the Queen Mother looked like in 1969.
The Queen Mother died in 2002. She lived to be an impressive 101 years old.
During the first season, Eileen Atkins played Queen Mary, Elizabeth II's grandmother.
Queen Mary was already a princess when she married her second cousin once removed, the future King George V.
The real-life Queen Mary died in 1953.
She was 85 years old when she died in her sleep.
These young actors portrayed Elizabeth and Philip's two oldest children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
Billy Jenkins played a young Prince Charles, while twins Grace and Amelia Gilmour played Princess Anne.
Here's a picture of the adorable royal siblings in 1952.
Prince Charles is next in line for the throne. Now 72 years old, he will be the oldest person in British history to be crowned — if he doesn't abdicate in favor of his son, Prince William.
Princess Anne, the Queen's only daughter, comes after her three brothers and their kids in the line of succession.
A season two episode followed Prince Charles, played by Julian Baring, as he began attending the Gordonstoun School in Scotland.
A quote at the end of the episode, titled "Paterfamilias," stated that the Prince reportedly called the school an "absolute hell," and added that he sent both his sons to Eton, which was much closer to home.
Here's the real Prince Charles on his first day at Gordonstoun in 1962.
Despite reportedly not loving his time at the school, he was there until 1967.
Josh O'Connor portrays an all-grown-up Prince Charles, the heir to Queen Elizabeth's throne. He just won a Golden Globe for his performance.
"Seasons three and four will follow some of the most turbulent events in the Princes 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 said in a statement.
O'Connor won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama at the 2021 awards ceremony. It was his first nomination.
Charles was invested as Prince of Wales by the Queen on July 1, 1969.
Prince Charles enrolled at Cambridge University in 1967. He studied archaeology, anthropology, and history before receiving his degree in 1970.
"This is where we scale a significant part of his life which I feel so honored and excited to tell the story," O'Connor told RadioTimes.com. "And tell a very different side of the story that we may not have seen or have known about."
Emma Corrin joined the cast in season four as Prince Charles' wife, Princess Diana. She also won a 2021 Golden Globe for her performance.
"I have been glued to the show and to think I'm now joining this incredible talented acting family is surreal," Corrin wrote in a statement. "Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring."
In February 2021, Corrin won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama for her performance as Diana.
Elizabeth Debicki will take over in season five.
Here's the real Princess Diana in her wedding dress on 1981.
Lady Diana Spencer became Princess Diana following her marriage to Prince Charles.
The couple met in 1977 when Diana was 16 years old. Charles was dating her older sister, Sarah, at the time. They later married in 1981, and divorced in 1996.
Erin Doherty took over as the young adult Princess Anne in season three.
"To be a part of 'The Crown' feels both special and surreal," Doherty wrote in a statement. "There is such a special dynamic within Princess Anne that I am incredibly grateful to be able to explore. She is a woman of great strength and heart — I feel privileged to fight her corner."
Princess Anne turned 21 years old in 1971.
She entered public life at age 18 and has been an active member of the royal family ever since.
Emerald Fennell plays Camilla Parker Bowles, née Shand, Charles' secret lover and future wife in seasons three and four.
Their relationship first developed in season three, but due to machinations by Charles' uncle Lord Mountbatten, their relationship ended when Charles was sent away for eight months.
She reappeared as Charles' "close friend" during his relationship with Princess Diana, though it became clear they were still in love.
Here's what Parker Bowles looked like during her wedding to her husband, Andrew, in 1973.
Parker Bowles and her husband remained married until 1995. She and Charles married in 2005, and they have been together ever since.
Andrew Buchan plays Andrew Parker Bowles, Camilla's erstwhile husband in seasons three and four.
In season three, it's suggested that Princess Anne dated Parker Bowles.
This is the real Parker Bowles in 1971.
After divorcing Camilla, he married Rosemary Pittman in 1996. She died in 2010.
Greg Wise portrayed Prince Philip's uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, aka Dickie.
Mountbatten was a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, so he was both Prince Philip's uncle as well as a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.
This is Mountbatten in 1943.
Charles Dance took over as Lord Mountbatten in season three and four.
Dance is recognizable for his role as Tywin Lannister in "Game of Thrones," but he's been acting for decades.
This is Mountbatten in 1969. He was assassinated 10 years later at the age of 79.
Mountbatten was assassinated in 1979 by a faction of the IRA, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, a paramilitary group dedicated to securing Ireland's independence. They placed a bomb inside his fishing boat.
These events played out in season four.
Jane Lapotaire played Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother of Prince Philip, in season three.
Rosalind Knight and Sophie Leigh Stone played Princess Alice in seasons one and two respectively, but Lapotaire took over in season three when Alice moved into Buckingham Palace at the end of her life.
Princess Alice became a nun later in life.
After the Greek royal family was driven out of the country, Alice eventually became a nun and gave up almost all of her possessions. She moved into Buckingham Palace in 1965 as her health was failing, and died in 1967 at 84 years old.
John Lithgow played British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Lithgow had to wear a fat suit to portray the storied politician.
Here's Churchill in 1953.
Churchill was prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. His second term was shown on the first season of "The Crown."
Jeremy Northam played Anthony Eden, the British politician who succeeded Churchill as prime minister.
Eden succeeded Churchill in 1955, though he didn't last long.
Northam nailed the real Eden's distinctive mustache.
"Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden is best known for his controversial handling of the Suez crisis in 1956," states the British government's official website.
He left office in 1957 and died 20 years later.
Anton Lesser played Harold Macmillan, the third prime minister in two seasons.
Lesser joined the cast in season two, after he took over for Eden. He later resigned at the end of the season.
This is the real Macmillan in 1960.
Macmillan was in office until 1963, when he resigned from a hospital bed. He lived another 20 years and died in 1986.
Jason Watkins was cast for season three as Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
According to CNN, Wilson was the first prime minister from a lower-middle-class background and he got along well with the Queen. However, the show's third season seemed to imply the Queen was, at first, nervous he was a Soviet spy.
Here's Wilson making a speech in 1967.
Wilson was prime minister from 1964 to 1970, and 1974 to 1976.
Michael Maloney played Prime Minister Edward Heath.
Maloney was also in "The Trial of Christine Keeler," which followed the events of the real-life scandal the Profumo Affair, which was covered in season two of "The Crown."
This is the real Heath giving a speech in 1970.
Heath was preceded and succeeded by Wilson, as Heath served as prime minister from 1970 to 1974.
Gillian Anderson joined the cast in season four as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Anderson was announced in September 2019 for season four, but not everyone knows how to feel about it, as she was a controversial historical figure.
She also won a Golden Globe for her role in 2021, for best supporting actress in a TV series.
Here's Thatcher in 1979, after she was elected prime minister.
Thatcher became known as the Iron Lady for her uncompromising ways and strong will. She was prime minister from 1979 to 1990.
Denis Thatcher was played by Stephen Boxer in season four.
Boxer told the Times that while the Thatchers were "not in love as I particularly have known it, you cannot deny that it is love."
Here's the real Denis and Margaret on the day she was elected.
As Margaret was the first female prime minister, he was the first male spouse of the prime minister. They were married until Denis' death in 2003.
Read the original article on Insider