Claire Foy and Matt Smith want to be re-cast as Margaret Thatcher and John Major in The Crown

The co-stars may not continue as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in the later years of the reign, but they could still stick around – in completely different roles

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Claire Foy and Matt Smith may star as the Queen and her husband in Netflix’s new series The Crown, but the two actors are actually hoping to be dramatically re-cast – as Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

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The first series kicks off in post-war Britain with the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to the handsome Philip Mountbatten, and sees viewers through to the end of Winston Churchill’s premiership in 1955. 

But what will happen if future series take Elizabeth II’s reign into the 80s and 90s?

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For one thing, it is far from certain that Foy, 32, and Smith, 34, will continue to play the royal couple when their contracts expire at the end of series two. 

On the idea of playing an older Queen, Foy told RadioTimes.com: “Oh god, I don’t know whether that would be a good idea.”

However, not to worry: Doctor Who actor Smith has had a brainwave about how they can stay in the series. 

“You’d be a good Margaret Thatcher,” Smith told his co-star, adding: “I’ll play Major.”

 “We’ll just reinvent ourselves and come back as different characters,” Foy joked.

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And while you may think you know your 20th century royal history, the co-stars promise that there is more to the story than viewers will be anticipating.

“I think it’s more moving than you expect it to be,” Smith explained. “Even though you think you know the story, because actually you don’t.”

Foy added: “It’s one of those things where you think you know it, but I think you don’t know the personal, emotional, human response to things.

“It’s all well and good to look at them and go, they’re royalty and we know it. We’ve seen it. But you haven’t, and this is the imagined version of what might have happened, which is an extraordinary situation.”

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The Crown launches on Netflix on Friday 4th November