The Crown season 6 cast vs their real-life counterparts
Season 6 of The Crown continues to tell a fictionalised tale of the British royal family, beginning in the 1990s. But how does the cast compare to their real-life counterparts?
Netflix’s The Crown has taken the world by storm with its heavily dramatised retelling of the British royal family, beginning in 1947 with the wedding of the future Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
The sixth and final season of the show – arriving in two parts, with the first four episodes streaming from 16 November and the remainder from 14 December – will take us deep into living memory.
This season will cover 1997 until 2005, with part one expected to focus on the paparazzi interest in Diana – particularly in the summer months of 1997, before her death, aged 36, in a car crash in Paris.
- Read more | “Haunted, in more ways than one”: A historian’s review of The Crown S6, part 1
- Read more | The Crown S6 part 1: the real history to expect from the royal drama
The hit series garnered controversy for walking the fine line between fact and fiction. Among its detractors was actor Judi Dench, who wrote in an open letter to The Times that the closer The Crown comes to the present day, “the more freely it seems willing to blur the line between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism”.
In part, The Crown’s attempts at realistic storytelling relies on how similar the cast looks to the royals they’re portraying. Let’s look at those appearing in the final series…
The Crown Season 6 cast: how much do they look like the real royals?
Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana
Part one of the new season will focus on the death of Princess Diana, and how it shook both the nation and the royal family.
Following Diana’s death in a car crash on 31 August 1997, well-wishers left more than a million bouquets outside Kensington Palace. More than one million people also crowded the streets of central London during her funeral on 6 September.
Dominic West as Prince Charles
In April 2011, at the age of 62, Prince Charles (now King Charles III) became the longest-serving heir apparent. The previous record, of 59 years, two months and 13 days, had been held by his great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII, heir apparent to his mother Queen Victoria.
On 8 September 2022, Charles became King following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker-Bowles
Charles and Camilla were married on 9 April 2005, 34 years after their first meeting. The Sunday Telegraph’s headline simply read ‘Husband and wife – at last’.
Queen Elizabeth II toasted at their reception with: “They have overcome Becher's Brook and The Chair and all kinds of other terrible obstacles. They have come through and I'm very proud and wish them well. My son is home and dry with the woman he loves.”
Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II’s reign was the longest Britain has seen – during her time on the throne, she celebrated six Jubilees, visited 116 countries, and wore an estimated 5,000 hats.
Jonathan Pryce as Prince Phillip
The real Prince Phillip was married to Queen Elizabeth II for over 73 years, making theirs the longest marriage in British royal history. Prince Philip had, said Elizabeth II in a speech on her golden wedding anniversary, “quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years”.
Ed McVey as Prince William
Ed McVey is Prince William in the second half of The Crown, which will follow the burgeoning relationship between him and Kate Middleton at the University of St Andrews. William began a geography degree after completing a gap year, in which he travelled to Mauritius, Africa, Belize and Chile.
Rufus Kampa will appear as a younger Prince William in part one of this final season.
Luther Ford as Prince Harry
Luther Ford will play an older Prince Harry in part two of this final series, while Fflyn Edwards is a young Prince Harry alongside Rufus Kampa in part one.
Consequently, we’ll see more of Princess Diana as a mother. The real Diana was insistent that William and Harry experience some normality, and gave them experiences such as a trip on the London Underground and eating in McDonald’s. She also took Prince William to visit a homeless shelter when he was 11.
Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton
Catherine Middleton grew up in Berkshire, and took a degree in History of Art. She met Prince William at the University of St Andrews in 2001, and is said to have begun dating him in 2003. After a brief split in 2007, the couple’s engagement was announced three years later. They married on 29 April 2011.
Claudia Harrison as Princess Anne
The daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, in season 5 of The Crown we saw her meet Timothy Lawrence. The real Anne is still married to Lawrence, who is her second husband. Together they live at Gatcombe Park, an 18th-century country house on a 730-acre estate in Gloucestershire.
Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret
This season of The Crown will cover the period that includes the death of Princess Margaret, Elizabeth II’s younger sister. Margaret died in 2002 at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, with her son and daughter at her side.
“Her final years were a sad contrast with the lovely young woman remembered by so many,” writes historian Anne de Courcy, “and, by the Queen, as ‘her beloved sister’.”
Khalid Abdalla as Dodi Fayed
Diana grew close to film producer Dodi Fayed, and is believed to have begun a relationship with him sometime during a trip to St Tropez in July 1997. Dodi also lost his life in the same car crash as Diana.
Salim Daw as Mohammed Al-Fayed
Mohammed Al-Fayed was a successful businessman, and the father of Dodi (Khalid Abdalla). He died on 30 August 2023 at the age of 94.
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