What These ‘The Crown’ Actors Think of the Royal Family Members They Play

Season 3 of The Crown debuted on Netflix on Nov. 17, 2019. The new season covers the royal family from 1964 to 1977 and featured a cast change for the main characters. Erin Doherty plays Princess Anne and Josh O’Connor plays Prince Charles. So what do these actors from The Crown think of the royal family members they play?

The Crown
Josh O’Connor, Erin Doherty and Peter Morgan | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

Both ‘The Crown’ actors barely knew anything about the royal family

Before being cast in The Crown, Doherty and O’Connor admitted they did not know much about the royal family.

Doherty told the Los Angeles Times, “I got off the phone with my agent and I was like, ‘I know The Crown, but who is this woman?'”

O’Connor admitted that before filming the show he did not pay attention to the royal family as he does not consider himself a monarchist.

“I’m just not that bothered, basically,” he said.

The actors researched their characters

After being cast, Doherty and O’Connor spent a lot of time researching the people they were cast to play. At one point, Doherty had to tell herself to stop Googling things.

“And then I had to stop because I would have just kept going. There came a point where I was like, ‘I’m too obsessed, I need to just get rid of it,” she said. “The pressure of it being a real person can just squash you. There came a point when I said, ‘I’m never going to look at these videos ever again.'”

Doherty did develop an admiration for Princess Anne through her research.

“… I unearthed all this bad press that Anne received when she was really quite young. They were calling her frumpy and things like that. I was like, ‘My God, if someone said that to me when I was 15, I would have a nervous breakdown,'” Doherty said. “And she went the other way. It makes me admire her even more. It’s where my admiration for her ultimately comes from.”

O’Connor found researching Prince Charles difficult because of how much information there is about him.

“When I was researching Charles, there’s so much footage of him and Diana,” O’Connor said. “And you just have to avoid it because it doesn’t help me tell the story.”

Doherty and O’Connor feel bad for Princess Anne and Prince Charles

After filming two seasons of The Crown as Prince Charles and Princess Anne, O’Connor and Doherty do have sympathy for the two. However, they mainly feel sympathy for the characters they play as they do not actually know the real Princess Anne and Prince Charles.

“I have huge fondness for Charles as a person. I’m still none the wiser as to what he’s actually like, of course. Obviously, this is a fictionalized version of him,” O’Connor said.

Doherty said, “Since spending pretty much a year in these people’s shoes, I feel an immense amount of compassion just because I feel like the situation that they’re in is so relentless, to be under that kind of mass scrutiny 24/7.”

Even though Doherty and O’Connor have spent a good portion of time playing members of the royal family in The Crown, neither have a sudden interest in learning more about the monarchy. Because they played versions of Princess Anne and Prince Charles from 1964 to 1977, current news does not affect them.

“In order to tell the story, I need to not know, because I want to know these people at this time in their lives,” Doherty said.

“Before I did this job, I didn’t care. I didn’t read anything about the royals, and that’s not going to change,” O’Connor said.