From pope to prince: Jonathan Pryce to play Prince Philip in 'The Crown'

The Oscar-nominated actor has been cast against Imelda Staunton's Queen Elizabeth II

The Crown team has finally found the leading man to helm the hit TV series through its final seasons. Jonathan Pryce has been cast as Prince Philip in the fifth and sixth series of the acclaimed Netflix royal biopic.

The Oscar-nominated actor, who portrayed Pope Francis in 2019's acclaimed The Two Popes, will take up the mantle from Tobias Menzies and Matt Smith, who played the Duke of Edinburgh in two seasons apiece.

Pryce, 73, will perform opposite Imelda Staunton, who is taking the crown of Queen Elizabeth II from Olivia Colman. The role of the monarch in the award-winning series was first forged by Claire Foy.

The hit Netflix series charts Queen Elizabeth II's long-standing reign, from her formative years to the modern day. However, because it covers such a long stretch of time, actors and actresses are recast every two seasons.

The other confirmed star for The Crown's final two seasons is Lesley Manville, who will feature as Princess Margaret, taking over the role from Helena Bonham Carter.

Welsh actor Pryce is also known for his work as The High Sparrow in Game of Thrones, as well as roles in Evita, Glengarry Glen Ross and The Wife.

Season four of The Crown is set to premiere later this year. It will cover Margaret Thatcher's turn as Prime Minister, played by Gillian Anderson, as well as Prince Charles and Princess Diana's turbulent marriage.

Despite initially claiming the fifth season would be the last, show creator and writer Peter Morgan last month confirmed a sixth season would be forthcoming.

"As we started to discuss the storylines for series five, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons.

"To be clear, series six will not bring us any closer to present day – it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail," Morgan said in an interview with Deadline in July.