When it comes to recasting, certain shows and film series immediately come to mind. Doctor Who and James Bond have become synonymous with the practice, while House of the Dragon recently recast characters frequently throughout just its first season.


Another show which has become known for its extensive recasts is The Crown, which every two seasons has brought in an entirely new cast to adapt for its characters' ages.

Where Claire Foy and Matt Smith originated the roles of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, they were then passed down to Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies and now, for the show's upcoming fifth season, Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce have taken over as the leads.

Speaking with this week's Radio Times magazine, Pryce has suggested that Foy and Smith had an "easy" job in comparison to himself and Staunton - and he gave a very clear reason as to why.

Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in The Crown
Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in The Crown. Netflix

Pryce said of Foy and Smith: "They had it easy because for a lot of people it was just a costume drama. Whereas [the Queen and Philip] are so well known in the years we are playing them. People were alive when these things happened.

More like this

"That was Peter [Morgan]’s challenge, to put some emotional life into these events, and still be honest and truthful. I think he’s done that really well."

Meanwhile, Staunton added that it was a "very heavy baton that was being passed over" from the previous actors, so she said she has to "try and match what had gone before".

She continued: "I didn’t want to let the whole thing down. I had to get over the shock of doing it and the fear."

The upcoming fifth season of Netflix's hit drama has already proved controversial, with major public figures including John Major and Judi Dench commenting on the show's historical accuracy.

The photo of Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (top of page) was taken exclusively for Radio Times magazine by Jay Brooks. Read the full interviews with The Crown stars in this week’s issue, out now.

Radio Times cover with Elizabeth Debicki for The Crown

You can watch seasons 1-4 of The Crown right now on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our Drama hub or visit our TV Guide.


The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times View From My Sofa podcast.