When is The Crown season 3 on Netflix? Who is in the cast, and what is going to happen?

Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies will take over as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when the drama returns to Netflix – but who else is joining them?

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown series 3 (Netflix)

Olivia Colman succeeds Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in series three of Netflix’s royal biopic The Crown.

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After much speculation, it was announced back in October that Broadchurch star Colman would be taking on the role of the Queen.

The Crown - Matt Smith, Peter Morgan, Claire Foy - Writer/Creator Peter Morgan with Matt Smith (Prince Philip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) (Netflix, TL)

And, after a prolonged search, Tobias Menzies joined the ranks in March 2018 as Prince Phillip. With Claire Foy and Matt Smith now gone, the drama is about to move into a new era…

Find out everything we know about The Crown series three below.

When is The Crown season three released on Netflix?

As production has been delayed due to the re-shuffling of the cast, it appears unlikely that we will see the new episodes before 2019. The good news, however, is that series three and four are being shot back-to-back, so it’s unlikely that we’ll have such a long wait before the subsequent series arrives.

Filming commenced in July 2018.

What is going to happen?

The third and fourth series will span the years 1964-76, with series one and two having covered the early years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, from 1947-63.

Show-runner Peter Morgan is not giving anything away just yet, but history tells us that series three, if it does indeed take us from ’64-’70, will see the monarch cultivating her steadiest relationship with a Prime Minister yet in Harold Wilson, who served as head of the British government during this period.

Speaking at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival 2017, producer Suzanne Mackie said that the new season would also see the introduction of Charles’ second wife Camilla Parker-Bowles.

It should also cover the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, the birth of Prince Edward (March 1964), and Prince Charles’ movement into the public eye following his coronation as the Prince of Wales in 1969.

Is there a trailer?

Sadly not: filming has only just begun filming. However, Netflix has released a first look at Colman as the Queen in the picture below.

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown series 3 (Netflix)
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown series 3 (Netflix)

Netflix followed this up with images of Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret and Ben Daniels as Lord Snowden.

The Crown season 3 Helena Bonham Carter
First look at Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in The Crown season three (Netflix)

Who is in the cast?

The Queen Olivia Colman was the first new cast member announced – she will replace Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II.

She told RadioTimes.com about the moment when she knew she was in the running for the role.

“I got a phone call from my agent when I was in a car [telling her that she had been asked to meet with director Peter Morgan],” she said. “I think I had fairly recently finished watching the first series, which I think I had done in about three nights – and so I was very excited. My agent was trying to be subtle, not knowing who was in the car with me and she went, ‘It’s something about a tiara’, and I went, ‘Oh, it’s The Crown!'”

Check out the full interview below.

Prince Phillip In late March 2018, it was announced that Outlander star Tobias Menzies would be filling the role of Prince Phillip, after much speculation (it was initially rumoured that Paul Bettany was in line to replace Matt Smith).

tobiasmenzies

Princess Margaret Veteran actress Helena Bonham Carter will take on the role of Princess Margaret in series three, after Netflix confirmed the long-rumoured casting.

In January 2018, Vanessa Kirby, the actress who played Margaret in the first two series, shared an Instagram picture with Bonham Carter along with the caption “honoured”. She tagged The Crown’s official Instagram account, too.

Honoured @thecrownnetflix

A post shared by Vanessa Kirby (@vanessa__kirby) on

Line of Duty star Jason Watkins meanwhile will play Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

Call the Midwife actor Erin Doherty has taken the role of Princess Anne.

Prince Charles The Durrells star Josh O’Connor has been confirmed as the actor to play Prince Charles in what is set to be a key period in the Prince of Wales’s history. O’Connor joked he had “the ears for the part”.

The Crown season 3 Prince Charles Josh O'Connor

The Queen Mother meanwhile will be played by Marion Bailey.

Of course, that still leaves plenty of other empty roles: we’ll be keeping this page updated with the announcements as they come in.

Actor Alex Jennings meanwhile, who played the Duke of Windsor in series one and two, has already admitted that he will find it difficult to watch his successor in the role.

“I would love to have been involved in my story in The Crown, to have done the whole arc up until the Duke of Windsor’s end,” he told RadioTimes.com.

How similar do the new cast of The Crown look to the actual royals?

While Colman will be familiar to British drama fans, it’s striking just how similar she appears to Queen Elizabeth II in her first official photo in costume.

With the release of the first cast images from The Crown season 3, we finally get our chance to see how this new collection of actors have transformed into their royal counterparts…

Posted by Radio Times on Monday, July 23, 2018

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And she’s not the only one: looking back at photos from the time, we can see that the new cast could well be very suited to their roles. Check out the comparisons here.