It’s easy to see why Netflix’s The Crown has become a hit among both audiences and critics (like so many other Netflix shows). Not only is it a delicious soap opera about royals (always catnip to American audiences); it also features some truly compelling characters, men and women trying to make their way in this strange entitled world. In fact, it’s the characters that are truly the backbone of this show, the thing that keeps viewers coming back for more.
There’s a question always lurking in the background of every episode, however, and that is: how do these characters map onto their Disney counterparts?
10 Elizabeth: Jasmine
This might seem a bit counterintuitive since Elizabeth is a believer in tradition while Jasmine always tries to subvert it. However, it’s important to note that they’re both very empowered women who have at least a bit of determination to live their lives on their own terms
Even Jasmine, who bucks her father’s authority every chance she gets and is one of the best Disney princesses, does ultimately give in to his command that she only marry a prince, and it’s only when he changes the law that she’s able to marry Aladdin. And, of course, there’s also the fact that Elizabeth is one of the most intelligent characters in the show, which is also true of Jasmine.
9 Philip: Jafar
In some important ways, Philip has emerged as something of a villain in the four seasons of the show that have aired so far. He’s very full of himself, but he’s also a little bitter that his potential has been wasted as a mere consort rather than a ruler in his own right.
This is very much like Jafar, a man who is also consumed with the unfairness of the fact that he isn’t the one sitting on the sultan’s throne and does everything he can to gain it, becoming a truly powerful villain in the process.
8 Margaret: Rapunzel
Margaret is one of the most fascinating characters on the entire show, with some great quotes to her name. While she’s been raised with tremendous privilege, she seems to truly struggle to find any sort of happiness.
Rapunzel, likewise, is a person that has been trapped in an ivory tower for most of her life and yet, despite the security it provides, feels a restless stirring that leads her to rebel against the strictures that are constantly placed on her behavior. And, let’s be real, they’re both just fantastic heroines.
7 Charles: Wart
Wart isn’t one of the most glamorous Disney princes, even if he does eventually grow up to be the famous King Arthur. The same is true of Prince Charles. Poor Charles is always struggling with two competing visions of what he should be: the person that he wants to be and that which his family expects him to be.
Is it any wonder that he sometimes comes dangerously close to buckling under the pressure and becoming a little bit of an ineffectual wallflower?
6 Anne: Megara
Anne was one of the breakout stars of the third season of the show. She has quite a bit of her aunt Margaret in her, and she doesn’t appear to care much about what the public thinks of her (though this changes somewhat in season four). She also has a bit of bad history when it comes to romance and matters of the heart.
In these respects, she’s quite a lot like the acerbic and witty Megara, who nevertheless finds her true love with Hercules.
5 Diana: Ariel
There are few royals who have cast a spell on the public, both British and American, as Princess Diana. There was always something earnest about her, and she truly did seem to be living the classic fairy tale story, striving for a better life as a royal.
It doesn’t take a huge leap of the imagination to see the similarities between her and Ariel, the mermaid with a beautiful voice and a desire to live a different life than her father decreed for her.
4 Lord Mountbatten: Scar
Lord Mountbatten, particularly as depicted by Charles Dance, is one of the more sinister characters of the series, and he even goes so far as to involve himself in a potential coup against the government.
Like his nephew Philip, he seems more than a little bitter that he isn’t more powerful than he is, which makes him a great deal like Scar, the Disney villain who committed the grave and unpardonable sin of murdering his own brother and seizing his throne in a coup.
3 Margaret Thatcher: Lady Tremaine
Gillian Anderson is simply sublime as Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister of the fourth season. Again and again, she’s shown that she has a stiff spine and an iron soul, one that will brook very little opposition to her wishes and desires. She’s not a monster, necessarily, but she’s not exactly very likable either.
Though Lady Tremaine isn’t one of the more famous or iconic Disney villains, she is a harsh character, unwilling to accept any kind of weakness in others (including her daughters) and, in some ways, she’s not as much of a villain as Cinderella is.
2 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Mrs. Potts
Elizabeth the Queen Mother is, like her daughter, very wedded to certain traditions. She has a certain way of looking at the world, and she believes firmly in the prerogatives and responsibilities of the monarchy.
At the same time, she’s often a very warm person, and it’s clear that she has a lot of fondness for her elder daughter. It’s very difficult to imagine her being any other Disney character than Mrs. Potts, the bubbly teapot voiced so memorably by another British treasure, Angela Lansbury.
1 Tony: Hercules
Though Margaret struggles to find love, she does manage to find some measure of happiness with Anthony Armstrong-Jones (affectionately known as Tony). Though he can occasionally get himself into trouble, there’s no doubt that Tony does truly love Margaret, and he’s devoted to her in some important ways, even when she’s cruel to him.
This is very similar to the ways in which Hercules, definitely one of the more innocent and endearing of the Disney princes, is devoted to Megara, despite the fact that she initially rebuffs his amorous advances.