I like to push the limits so I couldn’t resist giving “The Crown” the “Mirror Mirror” treatment. As chance would have it (!) I recently met Leigh Hughes who was in my very favourite (though tragic) episode “Aberfan”. I thought Jason Watkins was amazing as Harold Wilson and was nothing short of perfect (I love you Jason). As you will see from this article published in the ISAR Journal, there are incredible connections!
And of course, after a long convo about films, I couldn’t resist a selfie with Leigh! Please do get your copy of “Mirror Mirror” from Amazon!
Living in England means I hear and read more about the British Royal Family than I’d like. Even a history lover like me tires of the carefully reported antics of a family that seems to serve no other purpose than to attract tourists. So when “The Crown” came out on Netflix came out, I really wasn’t interested. Not even during Lockdown. However, one day a short clip from season 4 played automatically on YouTube as I was distracted by something else. Blimey, I thought, that sounds like Princess Diana. On closer attention, it wasn’t Diana at all but the actor Emma Corrin. Like the films I wrote about in “Mirror Mirror”, I was utterly transfixed by the performances. I ended up binge-watching the entire series over a weekend and couldn’t wait to look up the charts.
Before we get into the characters, let’s look at the definitive event that shaped the whole series.
Abdication Announcement: 11 December 1936, 22:01, London UK (BBC Archives)
The Crown released: 4 November 2016
The succession of the crown was greatly disturbed by the abdication crisis of 1936 when King Edward gave up the throne in order to marry the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. This event caused a chain reaction that deeply scarred the whole British Royal family and its extended members, particularly the King’s younger brother who is the father of the girl who would become the Queen of England. Edward signed the abdication papers on 10 December 1936 and then announced his decision to the public on radio the following night. As this was a historic event and the climax of the constitutional crisis, the whole country would have heard even though most listeners had only learned of the love affair a week before. According to the BBC, the announcement was made at 22:01. The Moon was at 26 degrees Scorpio and was transiting Princess Elizabeth’s Saturn/MC conjunction and opposing her IC which is, in turn, conjunct the fixed star Algol. Algol connections are common amongst the British Royal Family. Keep an eye out for the next lunar eclipse on 19 November which will have the Sun on Algol.
In addition to the Algol connection, it really is quite astonishing that when season one of The Crown was released, transiting Venus and Saturn were on the Sun of the Abdication Crisis itself. What Edward did for love ensured he and his wife would remain in the public eye even though exiled and excluded from the rest of the Royal Family. The simmering resentment towards the King is evident all the way through the series.
Here are a few observations for some of the Prime Ministers in The Crown and the actors who portrayed them.
Winston Churchill: 30 November 1874, 1:30, Woodstock UK (Rodden:A)
John Lithgow: 19 October 1945, 12:00, Rochester NY (Rodden: X)
John Lithgow portrayed the queen’s first Prime Minister and it is absolutely perfect that his Sun in Aries is conjunct the great statesman’s South Node which also picks up Churchill’s six-planet opposition (Mars, Jupiter and South Node in Libra and North Node, Neptune and Chiron in Aries). The American actor, mostly known for his comedic turns, was totally convincing right down to the accent.
Harold Wilson: 11 March 1916, 10:45, Huddersfield, UK (Rodden:A)
Jason Watkins: 28 October 1966, no time, Albrighton UK (Rodden: X)
Jason Watkins played Harold Wilson and it remarkable that the actor’s Saturn/Chiron in Pisces conjunction is in turn conjunct Wilson’s Chiron and Sun. In fact, the two men were born exactly one Chiron cycle apart, an astrological advantage that would help the actor understand his role and play it with both sympathy and reverence.
Margaret Thatcher: 13 October 1925, 9:00, Grantham UK (Rodden:A)
Gillian Anderson: 9 August 1968, 6:00, Chicago IL (Rodden: C)
Gillian Anderson was completely unrecognisable in her role as Margaret Thatcher. The resemblance—particularly with the speech patterns—made the portrayal almost comical. The scene where the Thatchers are visiting the Royal Family and playing the drinking game “Ibble Dibble” was particularly hysterical. Thatcher spoke so slowly and with such carefulness that it totally took the fun away from the game. Which pretty much summed up Thatcher’s approach to politics. Anderson’s South Node in Libra is within three degrees of Thatcher’s Mars. But perhaps the most telling aspect is that the actress’ Saturn is right on Thatcher’s Chiron.
In seasons one and two, each character was played by the same actor. For seasons three and four, rather than using make up or prosthetics to depict the aging process, new actors were chosen. It was fascinating to discover what each actor brought to the portrayal. However, although the actors for seasons five and six have been chosen already, these segments have not been released for public viewing at the time of writing (1 November 2021). Can astrology be used to predict what we can expect in the next instalments?
Queen Elizabeth II: 21 April 1926, 2:40, London,UK (Rodden:AA)
Claire Foy: 16 April 1984, no time, Stockport, UK (Rodden:X)
Olivia Colman: 30 January 1974, no time, London UK (Rodden: X)
Imelda Staunton: 9 January 1956, London UK (Rodden: X)
In season one and two, Claire Foy plays the Princess Elizabeth from her early days as a wife and mother, through her coronation to become Queen (when Prince Phillip had to bow to her!) and up to the Kennedy assassination. Foy portrays Elizabeth as a dutiful, thoughtful monarch who is not immune to the odd temper tantrum (she once threw a tennis racket at her husband). Foy’s Mars in Scorpio is also conjunct Elizabeth’s Saturn and MC, a hallmark of playing out obligations with duty and reverence. With her Sun in Aries conjunct the monarch’s Chiron, the actress was in tune to the trials and tribulations of a life in the public eye and transiting Uranus was within 4 degrees of conjunction when The Crown was released.
Olivia Colman took over the role of Elizabeth for season three and four. It was a fascinating choice as their Jupiters in Aquarius are just a degree apart. Colman’s role is far more involved with the politics of Great Britain and viewers see her interacting with Prime Ministers and US Presidents with more confidence and a better understanding of the political backdrop. In addition to their Jupiter conjunction, Colman’s Mercury in Aquarius is conjunct the Queen’s Mars. Although all the actors had to have voice coaching, Colman’s role is the biggest and would have taken the most effort to emulate the Queen’s distinctive accent.
Season five and six will feature Imelda Staunton as the Queen and of course, the synastry is amazing. Like Foy, Staunton has Mars in Scorpio conjunct the Queen’s Saturn and MC and they have a Venus/Mars conjunction in Aquarius. Yes, it’s opposite to Algol. It really is as if the role has been handed over with as little disruption as possible. Additionally, the actress’ Sun in Capricorn is conjunct the Queen’s North Node. What I’ve found out through studying the charts of actors and the real-life person they portray is that nodal connection often shows a role that the actor was born to play. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
Let’s look at a few more examples.
Prince Philip: 10 June 1921, 10:00am, Mon Repos, Greece (Rodden: AA)
Matt Smith: 28 October 1992, no time, Northampton UK (Rodden: X)
Tobias Menzies: 7 March 1974, no time, London UK (Rodden: X)
Jonathan Pryce: 1 June 1947, no time, Carmel UK (Rodden: X)
In season one and two, Prince Philip was portrayed by Matt Smith. In the early days, the handsome Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark had to renounce his Greek titles and citizenship as well as take the name Mountbatten in order to marry Princess Elizabeth. It is an extreme example of the transformation the young man had to go through in order to marry. As astrologers, we shouldn’t be surprised the actor and the prince had Pluto on the other’s North Node. In fact, power struggles with his wife were a main theme as Philip worked his way up the career ladder in the Royal Navy while his wife raised their young children and ruled the country. Additionally, Smith’s Chiron in Taurus is conjunct Philip’s MC which is—you guessed it–on Algol.
In season three and four, like the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh has settled, is more mature and supportive of his Queen. Tobias Menzies, who played Philip during these seasons, had his Saturn and South Node in Gemini conjunct the consort’s Mars and Sun. The actor took on a role that tapped into Philip’s ability to negotiate difficult situations such as the documentary that was supposed to show the Royal Family as ‘normal’ (it was a disaster) and speaking to Princess Diana about her marriage to Charles. Both also had Chiron in Aries within a five-degree orb as well as the actor’s Uranus in Libra conjunct Philip’s North Node. The actor had to sense how the Duke had to support his wife without losing his sense of self. It was, as the Queen herself remarked, a marriage that required give and take.
Prince Philip will be played by Jonathan Pryce in season five and six—and as in the queen’s role, I think we are in for a treat. The actor’s Mercury and Uranus in Gemini are conjunct Philip’s Sun and Mars. Prince Philip was known for his gaffes and I think we’re going to see a less guarded portrayal as Philip grows older. Pryce’s Pluto in Leo is also conjunct Philip’s Moon/Neptune. Expect scandals and emotional upheavals as we head into the seasons that will include the death of Diana
Princess Margaret: 21 August 1930, 21:22, Glamis Scotland (Rodden:AA)
Vanessa Kirby: 18 April 1988, no time, London UK (Rodden: X)
Helena Bonham-Carter: 26 May 1966, no time, London UK (Rodden: X)
Lesley Manville: 12 March 1956, no time, Brighton UK (Rodden: X)
Vanessa Kirby took on the role of the Queen’s sister in seasons one and two. With both having Saturn in Capricorn within a three degree orb, the actress would have understood Margaret’s pain and frustration of having to play second fiddle to her older sister and the family’s constant interference in her love life. However, there is a wild streak in Margaret which the actress is able to bring out as her Uranus is also conjunct her own Saturn as well as the princess’ MC. Throughout the series, Margaret makes sacrifice after sacrifice (including Winston Churchill telling her she can’t continue taking royal engagements because she has ‘too much personality’). Kirby’s Chiron in Gemini conjunct the princess’ Mars allows her to understand the frustration of not being able to speak her mind.
Helena Bonham-Carter took over the role of Princess Margaret for seasons three and four. Bonham’s Moon in Leo and Margaret’s Sun in Leo is a great match for a princess who thinks she would have made a better queen than her sister. The pair also share Jupiter in Cancer, perfect for lamenting over past family tragedies such as the discovery of several distant relatives kept in institutions. For understanding her relationship troubles with men, look no further than the actress’ Venus in Aries conjunct the princess’ North Node. The portrayal of Margaret’s suicide attempt and legendary drinking were aided by Bonham-Carter’s Neptune and South Node in Scorpio opposite to Margaret’s Chiron in Taurus. By the way, Bonham-Carter’s North Node is conjunct you-know-what (Algol).
As Margaret died in 2002, we can assume that the actress Lesley Manville will be performing her death scene. As the actress’ Pluto/Jupiter conjunction in Leo is conjunct Margaret’s Sun, we can expect something quite dramatic.
Princess Anne: 15 august 1950, 11:50, London UK (Rodden: AA)
Erin Doherty: 16 July 1992, no time, Crawley UK (Rodden: AA)
Princess Anne’s role was relatively small in the series. However, it is fascinating to note Erin Doherty has her Venus in Leo exactly conjunct the princess’ MC. In the series, Anne is almost comically unemotional and straight-to-the-point, particularly when it comes to giving her opinion on the matters in relationships. She quite brutally tells Charles that Camilla doesn’t love him the way he thinks she does and that no one wants his marriage with Diana to fall apart. No surprise then that the actress’ Mercury in Leo in within one degree of Anne’s Pluto. Unlike Charles, Anne has no difficulties in getting approval from her parents: the actress’ Jupiter in Virgo is within two degrees of the Princess Royal’s Moon.
Claudia Harrison will play Anne in series five and six but there are no birth details.
Prince Charles: 14 November 1948, 21:14, Buckingham Palace, UK (Rodden:AA)
Josh O’Conner: 20 May 1990, no time, Southampton UK (Rodden:X)
Dominic West: 15 October 1969, no time, Sheffield UK (Rodden:X)
The Prince of Wales is primarily known for his failed marriage owing to his continued affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Influenced by his uncle Edward’s abdication in favour of remaining loyal to his one true love, the series shows Charles’ devastation when Camilla marries someone else. Encouraged by his family, he eventually marries Lady Diana Spencer which, as we all know, was fraught with difficulties. Prince Charles has a natal Venus/Neptune conjunction in Libra which goes some way to explain how he could be so confused in relationships. What is rather astounding is that Josh O’Conner who portrayed the prince in seasons three and four, had his own Venus in Aries within a two degree opposition to Charles’ conjunction. It’s also rather remarkable that O’Conner’s South Node in Leo is within one degree of the Queen’s Moon: Charles is portrayed as continually seeking his mother’s love and approval. It is so easy to feel his disappointment as he returns from a highly successful trip to Wales to learn Welsh and where he expressed support for the Welsh in his investiture speech.
Dominic West, who will portray Charles in series five and six, has his natal Saturn conjunct the prince’s North Node and Moon. I think it’s safe to say, when can expect more Mummy problems in the next series. Also, as the actor’s Jupiter is within one degree of the prince’s Venus and Neptune, I think we can expect a more sympathetic handling of his relationship with Camilla.
Princess Diana: 1 July 1961, 19:45 Sandringham UK (Rodden:A)
Emma Corrin: 13 December 1995, no time, Royal Tunbridge Wells (Rodden:X)
As with Prince Charles, the Crown focuses on Diana’s troubled relationship with her husband and her numerous extra marital affairs. Emma Corrin, who played Diana has her North Node in Libra exactly conjunct the Princess of Wales’ MC. The resemblance and voice of the actor (please note Corrin wishes to be known as nonbinary) is uncannily similar to Diana’s so perhaps it’s not too surprising that Corrin’s Sun in Sagittarius is just two degrees from Diana’s ascendant. Even with an untimed chart, the actor’s Moon would be conjunct Diana’s stellium (Uranus and North Node in Leo and Mars and Pluto in Virgo). As the role calls for the portrayal of Diana’s eating disorder and suicide attempts, the actor’s Neptune and Uranus in Capricorn is conjunct the princess’ Saturn.
Elizabeth Debicki will portray Diana in seasons five and six. Whereas Corrin’s Moon was on Diana’s conjunction in Leo/Virgo, Elizabeth Debicki’s Sun in Virgo is on it. The new series is bound to show Diana’s transition from mother of a king to that of a fully grown woman with her own identity. With the actress’ North Node on the princess’ Jupiter, we should expect to see Diana becoming more confident in her humanitarian interests.
It seems that astrology really can give an indication of what to expect in the next seasons of The Crown.