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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, enjoy a visit to the Northern Province of Sierra Leone in 1961. (Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

This is in fact a bit of un-casting news. For those of you who were keen on Paul Bettany stepping in for the role of Prince Philip in season three of The Crown, we’re sorry to say, it’s not happening.

On the other hand, if you were holding out for David Tennant, that dream casting may still come true.

The mediasphere was cranking out headlines that Bettany was “in talks,” but, admittedly, it was not a sure thing. Industry insiders like Deadline and Hollywood Reporter were onboard, confidently reporting he was likely to take over for Doctor Who star Matt Smith.

In our update on Bettany possibly joining The Crown, we did write, “SO many changes. If the shake up continues, we’ll keep you posted.”

And, here we are…

Just yesterday (January 26), Deadline followed up its original report, simply saying: “It’s not entirely clear why Bettany withdrew from the talks, but the deal did not make.”

While this changeup could be polarizing for fans, looking on the bright side, it just adds to the mystery of The Crown season three.

We trust the team overseeing The Crown has casting in hand, and we shall be patient for the next round of: “Who is Going to Portray Prince Philip?”

At this rate, maybe Prince Philip himself should throw in a suggestion.

The first two seasons of The Crown are currently available for streaming on Netflix, starring Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II and Matt Smith as Prince Philip. The leads for seasons three and four are being recast to reflect the royal characters’ advancing age, with Olivia Colman already confirmed to replace Foy as the Queen. As well, Helena Bonham Carter will join the cast as her sister, Princess Margaret, originally played by Vanessa Kirby.

We’ve asked this before, and we’ll do it again: who’s your first choice? 

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By Brigid Brown