Meaghan Kirby
January 22, 2018 1:41 pm
Robert Viglasky / Netflix. Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Season 2 of The Crown is officially streaming on Netflix…and that means our time with Claire Foy, Matt Smith, and Vanessa Kirby portraying the royal family has come to an end. You see, a new cast will step in to play Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and Princess Margaret for Seasons 3 and 4.

But while we’re devastated to see them go, the new cast is shaping up to be something of a dream. Olivia Colman, the continually underrated actress and star of Broadchurch and The Night Manager, has already been announced as the next Queen Elizabeth. It was also recently revealed that Helena Bonham Carter is in talks to take over as Princess Margaret for the next two seasons of the series — which may have been confirmed via an Instagram post by Kirby. But as the casting announcements have come pretty slowly, we’ve been dying to find out who will play Philip opposite Colman’s Elizabeth.

Our answer is finally here: It seems Paul Bettany has been tapped to succeed Smith as Prince Philip, and we are 100% on board with this idea.

Netflix; Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

According to Variety, the Avengers: Infinity War actor is nearing a deal with producers to take on the aging prince for the next few seasons of the series. Based on looks alone, Bettany is definitely the right person to pick up the baton from Smith.

While it may be seen as a shocking move to replace a beloved cast for Seasons 3 and 4, The Crown creator, Peter Morgan, has been open about wanting the principal cast to accurately reflect the age of the royal family members they portray.

In December, the former Doctor Who star wouldn’t confirm to Seth Meyers whether he knew who the next Prince Philip would be, but he coyly revealed, “If it’s the person that it could be, I was just totally flattered.” He added that the actor he was thinking of is “brilliant” and “incredibly handsome as well.”

We’re definitely curious to see The Crown move forward without its original cast, but we’re feeling a bit more relieved that it’s in good hands with an incredible new cast.