The Crown fans claim Dominic West is 'too good-looking' to be Charles

‘It’s clear he was miscast’: The Crown viewers brand Dominic West ‘too good-looking’ to play Prince Charles – and praise Elizabeth Debicki’s ‘outstanding’ portrayal of Diana

The much anticipated fifth series of The Crown finally hit Netflix on Wednesday, and within hours of its release viewers took to Twitter to share their immediate reaction.

While many were quick to heap praise of Elizabeth Debicki for her ‘outstanding’ performance as the doomed Princess Diana, others were quick to question bosses’ casting of Dominic West as Prince Charles.

Flooding social media with their thoughts while binging through the controversial royal drama, viewers were quick to note that Dominic’s performance was ‘too charismatic’ to replicate the Royal.

‘Miscast’: The Crown fans have declared that Dominic West is ‘too good-looking’ to play then-Prince Charles following the release of The Crown’s long-awaited fifth series on Wednesday

Series five of The Crown begins with Charles and Diana’s marriage at breaking point, and sets the stage for their 1991 separation and divorce five years later.

While some fans noted Dominic’s charming persona, others claimed that he had been ‘miscast’ as Charles.

One tweeted: ‘Dominic West is too handsome to be portraying Prince Charles in The Crown,’ while another added: ‘#TheCrownNetflix just dropped and I have to say, strong start with the transition from past to present and Claire Foy, but Dominic West is just too handsome for Charles. Elizabeth Debicki is perfect as Diana.’

A third posted: ‘Dominic West has too much charm to be playing #that man,’ with one also posting: ‘Dominic West is way too charismatic to play Prince Charles.’

Role: The actor is taking on the role of the now-King (right in 1997) in the Netflix drama, but fans have noted he is ‘too charismatic’ to portray him during such a turbulent period

Tense: Series five of The Crown depicts the ending of Charles and Diana’s marriage and their eventual divorce, with one branding the Princes’ portrayal in the show as ‘despicable’

Other users tweeted that Dominic was ‘too fine’ and ‘too hot’ to portray the now-King, with one also noting he didn’t match Charles’s relationship with Diana during the final days of their marriage.

They tweeted: ‘Then Dominic West who is far too charismatic and far too good looking to come off as an older Charles who when see in the last season was pretty despicable in his treatment of Diana.’

One fan also tweeted: ‘5 minutes and it’s clear Dominic West was miscast as Charles.’

Unsure: Taking to Twitter hours after series five was released, users agreed that Dominic should not have been cast as Charles

However, one star who did receive praise for her role was Elizabeth, who stunned fans with her uncanny resemblance of Diana, as her marriage to Charles crumbles throughout the series’ run.

The Australian actress portrays Diana’s final years before her tragic death in a Paris car crash in 1997, and many fans tipped her for an Emmy for her performance.

One user tweeted: ‘Elizabeth Debicki is insane for making her voice and accent sound like Diana’s so accurately.’

Another added: ‘Give all the emmys to Elizabeth Debicki,’ while a third added: ‘#ElizabethDebicki is honestly the first person I’ve seen who has played Diana perfectly. She’s the perfect mix.’

‘I am amazed by Elizabeth Debicki’s Diana voice ohmygod,’ one user posted.

Moving: However, one star who did receive praise for her role was Elizabeth Debicki, who stunned fans with her uncanny resemblance of Diana

Princess Diana: Australian actress Elizabeth (left) was lauded by fans for her resemblance to the late Princess (right in 1994), with many tipping her for an Emmy win in 2023

Another penned: ‘I’m only on episode two but ELIZABETH DEBICKI THAT EMMY IS YOURS.’

An eager fan also posted: ‘Woke up early to get a start on The Crown and Elizabeth Debicki is perfection. She has the voice absolutely nailed down. How she isn’t in every movie is beyond me.’

‘Elizabeth Debicki needs to win all the awards. Every single one.’

Devastating: Elizabeth plays Diana as her marriage to Charles publicly falls apart, and later depicting the Princess’ bombshell Panorama interview

‘Elizabeth Debicki appearing on screen for the first time on @TheCrownNetflix made me forget Princess Diana’s gone for a bit. She looks exactly like her down to the mannerisms. And those doe eyes. The casting this season is nothing short of [100].’

‘Elizabeth Debicki is really getting the Emmy for sure,’ one added.

Another fan tweeted: ‘Really not warming to this new #TheCrown cast. The only stand-out for me so far is Diana. The rest haven’t got patch on their predecessors as of yet.’ 

‘An amazing first episode of @TheCrownNetflix loving it already. Elizabeth Debicki is outstanding as Diana,’ one posted.

A user also posted: ‘Can we all just take a moment and appreciate how uncanny Elizabeth Debicki’s portrayal of Princess Diana is? Only 2 episodes in and already I’m completely sold. This woman’s talent is something else.’

The fifth season of The Crown follows Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family through the 1990s, with Imelda Staunton playing the late monarch.

Fans will not see the death of Princess Diana in this series as her passing – which took place in 1997 – will not be covered until the sixth and final series.

The new series of The Crown will also be the first to air since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8.

The breakdown of the then-Prince Charles and Diana’s relationship will be a central part of the new series, culminating in their divorce.

The fourth series, which streamed in November last year, told the story of the early romance between Charles and Diana.

Amazing: Fans took to Twitter in droves to praise Elizabeth as the stand-out performance in The Crown’s fifth series

It was announced last year that Elizabeth would take over from Emma Corrin and play Diana for the fifth and sixth series, which will cover Diana’s death in 1997.

The actress said of her casting: ‘Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.’ 

The final two series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family’s history throughout the 1990s and into 2003, however it is not yet know which moments will be seen. 

At last! The latest instalment was finally released on Wednesday, with Imelda Staunton taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth II

Devastating: The first episode of series five sees Charles and Diana putting on a front for the cameras, while behind close doors their marriage has fallen apart

Moments that feature include the Queen making a speech on her 40th anniversary of her accession in 1992, in which she called the year an ‘annus horriblis’.

She was referring to the breakdown of three of her children’s marriages; Prince Andrew, Princess Anne’s and Prince Charles’ divorce from Princess Diana.

Other notable events during the time period included a fire at Windsor Castle, her golden wedding anniversary in 1997, and the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, which will feature in series six.

Also joining The Crown in series five is Lesley Manville, 64, who is set to star as Princess Margaret while Jonathan Pryce, 73, will take over the role of Prince Philip.


Princess Diana – Elizabeth Debicki

Princess Diana: Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki (left) had her big break in 2013’s The Great Gatsby and became a household name thanks to 2016 TV series The Night Manager (right: Princess Diana in 1994) 

It was announced that Elizabeth, 32, had been cast to play Princess Diana for the next two seasons and fans of the Netflix show were delighted to hear that the Australian actress would be taking on the role – replacing Emma Corrin.

The actress said of her casting: ‘Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.’ 

Elizabeth also hit out at critics of the series, stating: ‘It was always very clear to me that one can never know what happens behind closed doors and that a writer is interpreting what may have happened.

‘Now the disclaimer is up there, we can maybe stop talking about it and move on. If that’s helpful for certain people, so be it, and now the conversation can be returned to the creative endeavour of what the show is.’

Prince Charles – Dominic West

Prince Charles: Photographs captured the amazing transformation of Dominic West (left) into The Prince Of Wales (pictured right in 1992)  – with the actor mirroring the heir to the throne’s signature mannerisms.

Golden Globe nominee Dominic, 53, is set to play Prince Charles in the final two series of The Crown, taking over from Josh O’Connor who played the young prince in season three and four. 

The Prince Of Wales was played in his teenage years by Julian Baring and as a child by Billy Jenkins. 

Dominic is best known for playing Jimmy McNulty in The Wire and Noah Solloway in The Affair and has won two BAFTAs for his work. 

The actor previously revealed that he had contacted King Charles to resign as an ambassador from the Prince’s Trust after being cast in series five over the Netflix drama, over fears his new role would be a conflict of interest.

However, the King did not express any objections when informed that Dominic would be portraying him, refusing his offer.

Camilla Parker Bowles – Olivia Williams

Camilla Parker Bowles: Olivia Williams (left) will be taking on the role of King Charles’ future Queen Consort (pictured right in 1995) 

Olivia, 54, will be taking on the role of King Charles’ future Queen Consort, Camilla Parker Bowles, a role previously played by Emerald Fennell in seasons three and four.

The actress, from London, came from ordinary beginnings and was on the verge of giving up on the career when she was named ‘the most beautiful women to come on screen in the last ten years’ by Kevin Costner in 1997.

He picked her to star in his $90-million uber-flop The Postman, in which the two had a raunchy sex scene.

Since then, her rising star has been on the up-and-up, with roles opposite Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense, Carey Mulligan in An Education and even a guest appearance as Matt Le Blanc’s love interest in Friends.

Olivia will have personal insight into the character, having met Camilla after her marriage to Charles, by which time she had become the Duchess of Cornwall.

Queen Elizabeth II – Imelda Staunton 

Queen Elizabeth II: BAFTA-winning actress Imelda Staunton (left) is taking on Queen Elizabeth for seasons five and six (the late monarch is pictured right at the 1971 ball) 

BAFTA-winning actress Imelda, 66, is taking on the matriarchal monarch for seasons five and six, replacing Olivia Colman who took on the role for season three and four and Claire Foy who played the Queen for the first two series.

A star of both stage and screen, Imelda has won four Laurence Olivier Awards for her work in the theatre and was Oscar-nominated for her starring role in Vera Drake. 

Speaking about joining The Crown, Imelda previously admitted she is ‘frightened’ to take on the Queen Elizabeth role as she has an ‘extra challenge’ playing a recent version as it will be fresh in the audiences mind. 

Imelda said: ‘When Claire was in the first series, to all of us that felt like history. Then following on from that with Olivia, again it seems like history.

‘Now we start in 1991 playing someone much more recent. That’s the extra challenge I have, people saying, “Oh, I don’t think she’s like that at all”‘.

Prince Philip – Jonathan Pryce 

Prince Philip: Jonathan Pryce (left) will take on the role of Prince Philip for the final seasons (pictured right in 2007) 

Jonathan, 75, will take on the role of Prince Philip for the final seasons, taking over from Tobias Menzies who played the role in season three and four and Matt Smith who kicked off the portrayal for the first two seasons. 

The actor – who was previously knighted for his services to drama – has two Tony and two Olivier Awards and received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Pope Francis in The Two Popes. 

He previously revealed he’s ‘confident’ about ‘tackling the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip’ and it will be ‘a joy’ to act alongside Imelda Staunton as the Queen and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.

In a statement shared on social media by Netflix, Jonathan said: ‘I am delighted to be working with Netflix again.

‘The positive experience I had making The Two Popes has given me the confidence to tackle the daunting prospect of portraying Prince Philip.

‘To be doing so with Peter Morgan in the company of Imelda [Staunton] and Lesley [Manville] will be a joy.’

Princess Anne – Claudia Harrison 

Princess Anne: RADA-trained performer Claudia Harrison (left) takes on the role of the Queen’s only daughter (pictured right, in 1999) 

RADA-trained performer Claudia, 46, takes on the role of Princess Anne, replacing Erin Doherty in the third and fourth series of The Crown, who followed on from Lyla Barrett-Rye who portrayed the princess as a child. 

She boasts a number of TV gigs on her CV as well as a high-profile co-star following her turn in 2005 thriller Archangel, where she starred opposite Daniel Craig in the show about a mystery concerning dictator Josef Stalin.

The farmer’s wife and mother-of-three is said to have been ‘shocked and delighted’ when she was chosen to play Anne when the Royal was aged in her 40s. 

In 2006, she starred in one episode of The IT Crowd as Delina and in 2015 she was in four episodes of Humans as Dr. Aveling.

Timothy Laurence – Theo Fraser Steele 

Timothy Laurence: The Crown’s fifth season will feature The Thick Of It star and London deli owner Theo Fraser Steele (left) playing Princess Anne’s husband (pictured right in 2010) 

The Thick Of It star and London deli owner Theo plays Princess Anne’s husband Timothy Laurence.

The role of Timothy was not played in previous seasons as the pair did not tie the knot until 1992 after she had split from first husband Mark Phillips. 

Theo’s acting career spans back to 1996, when he starred in Casualty while he also played Christian Holhurst in political satire The Thick Of It in 2005. As well as acting, he is a successful deli owner and runs a shop with his wife in Hackney.

He comes from Essex and trained to be an actor in London before working with Bill Nighy and Stella Gonet in Richard Eyre’s production of David Hare’s Skylight at the National Theatre aged just 23.

Prince Andrew – James Murray 

Prince Andrew: Cutting It star James Murray, 47, (left) will play the Queen’s second son in the new series (right in 2001)

James, 47, will play Prince Andrew in the new seasons, replacing Tom Byrne, who played the Queen’s second son in series four and Marlo Woolley who portrayed the prince as a young boy. 

Speaking about his new role, James revealed that he tries not to judge his scandal-plagued character and he tries not to be influenced by what we know now’ about Prince Andrew.

He said: ‘This is the 90s, so the divorce, Toegate’, referring to the incident where Sarah Ferguson, 61, was photographed as her Texan financial advisor John Bryant sucked on her toes after her separation from Andrew in 1992.

James continued: ‘If I’m being professional, it’s not really my job to feel too much, to judge the character,’ he said. ‘And remember, we’re in the 1990s, before all the things that we know now.

‘I just have to read what’s on the page, do my research and play that quasi-fictional character. Because otherwise, it’s just going to get in the way.’

Sarah, Duchess of York – Emma Laird Craig

Sarah, Duchess Of York: Theatre actress Emma Laird Craig (left) will take on her first big role playing Sarah Ferguson (right in 1987) after just a handful of small roles in the likes of EastEnders and Casting Nina

Theatre actress Emma, 41, will take on her first big role playing Sarah Ferguson after just a handful of small roles in the likes of EastEnders and Casting Nina.

The Duchess of York offered words of wisdom to Emma upon hearing she’d landed the role, saying: ‘Just do the best job she can. 

‘To be cast in The Crown… a very successful TV show, how fabulous!’ 

Fergie was also forced to deny claims that she ‘made repeated contact’ with The Crown producers after sources say Prince Andrew’s ex-wife sought to partner with them on a TV adaptation of her romance novel, Her Heart For A Compass.

Prince Edward – Sam Woolf

Prince Edward: Sam Woolf (left) will be taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth’s youngest child (pictured right in 1995) 

Sam, 30, will be taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth’s youngest child, Prince Edward, previously played by Angus Imrie in his teenage years and Sidney Jackson as a child. 

The British star is relatively new to the acting but has had a minor role in Channel 4’s Humans, where he starred alongside The Crown castmate, Claudia Harrison. 

Sam also appeared in one episode of Call The Midwife and on CB Strike.

While Edward has not featured heavily in the series so far, the fifth and sixth season should offer a meatier part as the final two seasons are set to cover events including his 1999 marriage to the Countess of Wessex.

Princess Margaret – Lesley Manville 

Princess Margaret: Oscar-nominee Lesley Maville, 66, (left) takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister (pictured right in 1981)

Oscar-nominee Lesley, 66, takes on the role of Princess Margaret, following on from Helena Bonham Carter for the fifth and final series of the Netflix hit.

The lively monarch was embodied by Vanessa Kirby for the first two seasons and by child actress Beau Gadsdon for the early scenes.

Confirming the news in a statement, she said: ‘I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret. The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don’t want to let the side down.

‘Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy.’

Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother – Marcia Warren 

Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother: Marcia Warren (left) takes on the role of The Queen Mother in her final years (pictured right in 1985) 

Taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in her final years before her 2002 death is veteran actress Marcia, 78. 

The Queen Mother was played by Victoria Hamilton in the first two series of The Crown, before the role went to Marion Bailey for series 3 and 4, where the character took a backseat from the main drama and only made a few appearances. 

Marcia trained as an actress at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and has won two Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards. On screen she appeared in No Place Like Home and Edge of Heaven among others. 

Prince William – Timothee Sambo

 Prince William: Timothee Samborand (left) will be playing Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ eldest child (right in 1992)

Timothee, 11, is taking on the role of young Prince William in season five of The Crown, following on from Lucas Barber-Grant and twins Elliott and Jasper Hughes who portrayed the royal in season four. 

Like the prince he’s playing, it’s believed Timothee is a keen footballer, playing for Rockslane Chiswick U11s. 

He’s also a talented writer, receiving a commendation in the Year 5 category for a poem he penned during lockdown in the Chiswick Book Festival’s 10th Young People’s Poetry Competition last year.

Prince Harry –  Teddy Hawley

Prince Harry: Teddy Hawley, seven, is portraying the younger royal in his childhood years (pictured right in 1992) 

Teddy, seven, is taking on the role of a young Prince Harry, following on from Arran Tinker’s brief appearance in season four. 

It was previously said there was a dearth of ginger-haired actors who could play Prince Harry when casting agents went on the hunt earlier this year.

The desperation was such that show bosses were considering dyeing a child actor’s hair red so he could bear an adequate resemblance to the Duke of Sussex. 

Prime Minister John Major – Jonny Lee Miller 

Not previously featured on the show 

John Major: Trainspotting star Jonny Lee Miller, 49, (left) will play the Conservative Prime Minister (pictured right in 1991)

In a ‘surprise’ casting, it was revealed Trainspotting star Jonny, 49, will play John Major, who was in charge of the country from November 1990 until May 1997.

The Tory Prime Minister followed on from Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, with The Iron Lady played by Gillian Anderson in the wildly-popular Netflix period drama.

Sir John was Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher from 1987 to 1990.

Norma Major: Flora Montgomery (left) is taking on the role of Major’s wife Norma (pictured right in 1995)

Sir John was known for having a mild-mannered style which may appear to be in stark contrast to Jonny, who is known for playing bad boy characters like Sick Boy in Trainspotting. 

A source said: ‘It may seem like an unlikely casting as the two men couldn’t be more different, but the creators of the Crown aren’t interested in an actor playing a version of themselves.

‘It was a similar idea to when Sex Education star Gillian Anderson was cast as Margaret Thatcher in the last series of The Crown, a decision which surprised fans of the show at the time.’

Northern Irish actress Flora Montgomery takes on the role of Norma Major, the Prime Minister’s wife. 

Tony Blair – Bertie Carvel 

Tony Blair: Bertie Carvel, 45, is to portray the Labour prime minister who took over from John Major (pictured right in 1997) 

Bertie, 45, whose roles have ranged from Nick Clegg to Rupert Murdoch is to portray Tony Blair in The Crown, the Labour prime minister who took over from John Major. 

The actor is famed for his work in the theatre and has twice won a Laurence Olivier Award as well as a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play.

He is also known for playing Jonathan Strange in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Simon Foster in Doctor Foster.

Cherie Blair: Gentleman Jack star Lydia Leonard, 40, (left) will take on the role of his wife Cherie (pictured right in 1997) 

Blair’s victory in the 1997 election saw Labour win by a landslide majority, making a net gain of 146 seats and winning 43.2% of the vote.

The overall result of the election ended 18 years of Conservative government, in their worst defeat since 1906.

Blair famously hailed Diana as ‘The People’s Princess’, following her death, while the Queen deemed her death a private matter and was not prepared for the national outpouring of emotion from the public. 

The Crown wants to examine more of the constitutional crisis behind the scenes; and how the Queen was said to have felt bullied by her Prime Minister into making a public declaration about Diana.

Gentleman Jack star Lydia Leonard, 40, will take on the role of his wife Cherie.  

Martin Bashir –  Prasanna Puwanarajah 

Not previously featured on the show 

Martin Bashir: Prasanna Puwanarajah (left) takes on the role of the disgraced BBC journalist (pictured right in 1995) 

Doctor Foster star Prasanna, 41, is taking on one of the most controversial roles of the season as journalist Martin Bashir.

An entire episode in the upcoming fifth series will be dedicated to the shocking Panorama sit down which was viewed by more than 22 million people in the UK at the time and described by commentators in 1995 as a ‘bombshell’ that destroyed the image of a ‘contented, caring and united’ Royal Family.

An independent inquiry later found that Martin deceived Diana to get the interview and then lied to BBC managers.

He got a BBC graphic artist to produce fake bank statements that appeared to show payments by a newspaper group to an ex-member of staff of Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother.

Dr Hasnat Khan – Humayun Saeed

Not previously featured on the show 

Dr Hasnat Khan: Pakistani actor Humayun Saeed (left) will play Princess Diana’s former lover (pictured right in 2004) 

Humayun, 50, will reportedly play Princess Diana’s love interest Hasnat Khan – who she branded ‘Mr Wonderful’ – in the highly-anticipated fifth series of The Crown.

As well as being an accoladed actor, the Pakistani film star is also a producer and co-founded the media production house Six Sigma Plus.

During their fling, which ended in the summer of 1997, Diana – who is said to have considered him the love of her life – met the surgeon’s family and even considered converting to Islam.  

Speaking in 2008, the surgeon broke an 11-year silence about the Princess to say, ‘I found her a very normal person with great qualities.’ 


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