'The Crown': See the Season 1 Cast Side-by-Side with the Historical Figures They Portray

Check out our favorite season 1 players from the Netflix hit and their real-life counterparts

01 of 10

Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II

Netflix; Getty

Foy picked up a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the early years of her reign (and those just before she wore the crown). She played Britain's longest-reigning monarch for the show's first two seasons.

02 of 10

Matt Smith as Prince Philip

Netflix; Popperfoto/Getty

Like his on-screen wife, Smith appeared in The Crown's first and second seasons. He plays the Queen's at-times prickly husband, Prince Philip.

03 of 10

Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret

Netflix; J. Davies/Hulton Archive/Getty

Kirby plays the glamorous, romantically risky Princess Margaret, who pursues a relationship with the divorced Captain Peter Townsend in season 1 before meeting her eventual husband, photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, in season 2.

04 of 10

Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother

Netflix; Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis/Getty

Hamilton plays the elder Queen Elizabeth — also known as the Queen Mother. This isn't Hamilton's first time in a royal-inspired production: She also played Queen Victoria in the 2001 television movie Victoria & Albert.

05 of 10

John Lithgow as Winston Churchill

Netflix; Evening Standard/Getty

Lithgow won an Emmy and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as Churchill in season 1.

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Ben Miles as Peter Townsend

Netflix; Central Press/Getty

Miles' character, military hero and divorcee Captain Peter Townsend, embarks on an ill-fated love affair with Princess Margaret in the first season of the show.

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Jeremy Northam as Anthony Eden

Netflix; Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty

As the prime minister who followed Churchill, Northam's character had a prominent position at the end of the first season.

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Jared Harris as King George VI

Netflix; Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty

Harris' character, Queen Elizabeth's father, only appears in the first half of season 1 before he dies, making way for his elder daughter's ascension.

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Alex Jennings as King Edward VIII

Central Press/Getty

As the disgraced and exiled King Edward VIII (also known as the Duke of Windsor), Jennings pops up multiple times throughout the show's first season, particularly following the deaths of his brother and mother.

10 of 10

Lia Williams as Wallis Simpson

Netflix; Fayer/Getty

Edward VIII abdicated the throne over his love for Simpson, a divorced woman whom Parliament would not allow him to marry. The controversial figure is played by Williams in season 1 of The Crown.

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