Gillian Anderson Joins The Crown as Margaret Thatcher: Meet the New Cast

Season three hasn't even premiered yet and there's now exciting news about the fourth!

By Corinne Heller 07 Sep, 2019 6:58 PMTags
Gillian Anderson, 2018 Golden Globes, Red Carpet FashionsFrazer Harrison/Getty Images

It's official: Gillian Anderson will play Margaret Thatcher on the upcoming fourth season of The Crown, which is currently in production.

The news comes eight months after it was reported that the X-Files alum had reportedly been tapped to play the former British prime minister, nicknamed the Iron Lady due to her political toughness, on the hit Netflix series. The third season premieres this fall, and is set about 15 years ahead of season two, which took place in the early '60s.

"I'm so excited to be joining the cast and crew of The Crown and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman," Anderson, 51, said in a statement tweeted out by Netflix on Saturday. "Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether loved or despised, defined an era."

Thatcher was the United Kingdom's first female prime minister. She served in office from 1979 to 1990. Thatcher died in 2013 at age 87.

Anderson, who was born in Chicago and raised in London, joins a cast made up of newcomers who will portray new characters or older versions of those first seen on the first two seasons of The CrownOlivia Colman will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Claire Foy, while Outlander and Game of ThronesTobias Menzies will play her husband Prince Philip, a role Matt Smith originated. 

Season four will introduce the woman who remains the most beloved royal in history: Lady Diana Spencer, aka Princess Diana.

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Olivia Colman Gushes Over "The Crown" Star Claire Foy

Meet the new cast of The Crown:

Margaret Thatcher

Actress Gillian Anderson will play the Iron Lady on The Crown, starting in season four, Netflix announced on Sept. 7, 2019.

Lady Diana Spencer

Newcomer Emma Corrin is taking on the role of a young Princess Diana (then known as Lady Diana Spencer) in season four of The Crown.

"I have been glued to the show and to think I'm now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal," Corrin said in a statement released by Netflix. "Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through Peter Morgan's writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice!"

Queen Mother

Marion Bailey will take over the role of the Queen Mother from Victoria Hamilton, starting in season three, which premieres on Nov. 17, 2019.

"Wonderful to be joining The Crown. It's a brilliant show and we have tough act to follow but what a gift to be playing the fascinating and greatly loved Queen Mother. Thrilled to be on board and working with such a top notch team," Bailey said in a statement.

Prince Charles

Viewers saw a young Prince Charles in The Crown season two, but that changes with a time jump. Josh O'Connor will take over the role starting in season three.

"I am thrilled to be joining the firm for the next installment of The Crown. Seasons three and four will follow some of the most turbulent events in the Prince of Wales's life and our national story and I'm excited to be bringing to life the man in the midst of it all. I'm very aware it's a formidably talented family to be joining, but reliably informed I have the ears for the part and will fit right in," he said in a statement.

His other credits include Peaky Blinders, Ripper Street and Florence Foster Jenkins.

Prime Minister Harold Wilson

There's a new prime minister when The Crown jumps ahead some years for season three. Jason Watkins is playing Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

"I am delighted to become part of this exceptional show. Harold Wilson is a significant and fascinating character in our history. So looking forward to bringing him to life, through a decade that transformed us culturally and politically. And excited to be working so closely with Olivia and the whole team," he in a statement.

Watkins' other credits include Taboo, A Very English Scandal and Being Human.

Prince Philip

Doctor Who star Matt Smith played Prince Philip in the first two seasons of The Crown. Outlander's Tobias Menzies is taking over the role for the upcoming third season.

"I'm thrilled to be joining the new cast of The Crown and to be working with Olivia Colman again. I look forward to becoming her 'liege man of life and limb,'" he said in a statement.

In addition to Outlander, Menzies' credits include The Night Manager opposite Colman, Game of Thrones, Catastrophe and the British Getting On.

Princess Anne

Call the Midwife veteran Erin Doherty is playing Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

In addition to Call the Midwife, Doherty is in the Les Misérables miniseries.

Princess Margaret

Vanessa Kirby played Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of the royal drama. Helena Bonham Carter met with Kirby before her participation was confirmed.

"I'm not sure which I'm more terrified about—doing justice to the real Princess Margaret or following in the shoes of Vanessa Kirby," Bonham Carter said in a statement. "The only thing I can guarantee is that I'll be shorter than Vanessa."

Bonham Carter's credits include the Harry Potter film series, Ocean's Eight and The King's Speech.

Antony Armstrong-Jones

Matthew Goode played the character of Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon, in the second season. Ben Daniels of Jesus Christ Superstar Live, House of Cards and The Exorcist fame, will play the part in season three.

"After being glued to the first two seasons of The Crown I am beyond thrilled to be joining the cast of this incredible piece of television," Daniels said in a statement. "Snowdon was such a dynamic and complex man, I'm really looking forward to playing him."

Queen Elizabeth

Claire Foy is handing over the crown to Olivia Colman for the third season.

"I'm so thrilled to be part of The Crown, I was utterly gripped watching it, a proper ‘Just one more' feeling," Colman said in a statement. "I think Claire Foy is an absolute genius, she's an incredibly hard act to follow, I'm basically going to rewatch every episode and copy her!"

Colman won a Golden Globe for The Night Manager and has appeared in numerous other projects including Peep Show, Fleabag and Murder on the Orient Express.

Camilla Parker Bowles

Emerald Fennell will play the future Duchess of Cornwall in the upcoming season.

"I'm absolutely over the moon, and completely terrified, to be joining so many hugely talented people on The Crown," Fennell said in a statement. "I absolutely love Camilla, and am very grateful that my teenage years have well prepared me for playing a chain-smoking serial snogger with a pudding bowl haircut."

Season three of The Crown will premiere on November 17 on Netflix.