Who Is Josh O'Connor, Prince Charles on 'The Crown' Season 3?

Actor Josh O'Connor plays the "impossible" (his words) character of Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown.

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(Image credit: John Phillips)

If you've never heard of actor Josh O'Connor, you soon will—he's about the play the iconic and "impossible" (his words) character of Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown. The period covered in seasons 3 and 4 happens to be a particularly fraught time in Charles' life, so there'll be a lot of heavy lifting expected from the young and talented actor. Here's what we know about Josh O'Connor so far, including a sneak peek of what his performance has in store for us.

O'Connor is a rising actor.

Although you may not have heard of him here in the United States, he's been making waves over in his home country of England. He was nominated for a BAFTA Rising Star Award for his role as a young farmer in God's Own Country (2017). He's also no stranger to historical dramas, playing Lawrence Durrell in ITV's The Durrells, about a British family on the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s.

He was also Marius on BBC1's Les Miserables (the one where there wasn't any singing). Fun fact: His Crown costar Olivia Colman is also in this! And he was on a Matt Smith Doctor Who episode, so he's been connected to the Crown's acting circles for a while before joining officially. 

Apparently, O'Connor's whole family is artistic: His grandfather is sculptor John Bunting and his aunt is writer Madeleine Bunting. He's also an artist, according to his Instagram.

He had the perfect response to being cast.

O'Connor was selected way back in 2018, alongside some other greats like Colman and Tobias Menzies (who play his parents, Elizabeth and Philip). When he was cast, O'Connor said, "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...I’m reliably informed I have the ears for the part and will fit right in." Okay, a) that is a darling answer, and b) clearly he has a sense of humor about the whole thing, which I appreciate.

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Apparently he's been busy ever since, perfecting his inflection and posture. He told The Times, "If you watch footage of the young Charles, there’s this thing—when he turns, he doesn’t turn with his body, he turns with his neck first, in a weird sort of Justin Timberlake-esque dance move. I like to think of Charles at the moment as a sort of tortoise, because he puts his neck out. It’s not even that he’s particularly slow, it’s more this idea of inquisitive head first."

And, judging by images, he's nailed it:

He also told The Telegraph, "Prince Charles is an incredible man. I’m mildly in love with him." (O'Connor has said he's straight, so he means it in an adorably platonic sense.) Bawwww.

We have a first impression of him as Charles.

Thanks to a just-released trailer of season 3, we know that we're going to see a lot of Charles this season. And it looks like there are some dramatic moments: "Am I listened to in this family? Am I seen for who and what I am? No!" he says.

If the rest of the season is as good as the trailer, I'm calling it now and saying that he's totally nailed it.

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Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.