Season three of The Crown may not have arrived in time for a big festive binge this year, but Netflix has gifted fans with a royal Christmas present – by unveiling first-look images of Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Daniels in their new starring roles.
Colman has taken over the top job of Queen Elizabeth from Claire Foy, while Menzies replaces Matt Smith in the role of her husband Prince Philip as the whole cast ages-up to tell the next chapter of the story.
In an an image released via Entertainment Weekly, we can see how they look together as a couple for the first time. Standing side-by-side, and staring directly ahead, they present an inscrutable face to the world – although there’s a trace of a half-smile on Philip’s lips.
Click to the right of the Instagram post and you’ll find a shot of Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, looking very different to Vanessa Kirby – who played the Queen’s sister in the first couple of seasons.
Although the image shows her dancing and laughing with husband Antony Armstrong-Jones (played now by The Exorcist’s Ben Daniels), season three will actually cover their deteriorating marriage as the two of them self-destruct.
Like Foy, Colman is set to portray Elizabeth for two seasons, before the whole cast refreshes yet again.
For now, we have Jason Watkins coming in as new Prime Minister Harold Wilson, while Josh O’Connor and Erin Doherty join the cast as Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
The Crown season three will premiere in 2019