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?

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 The Favourite and Broadchurch star Colman would be taking on the role of the Queen.

Following Foy’s Emmy best actress win for her role in the Netflix drama, expectation is high for Oscar winner Colman’s performance.

After a prolonged search, Tobias Menzies joined the ranks in March 2018 as Prince Philip. 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.

Behind the scenes pictures…

When is The Crown season three released on Netflix?

Season three is expected to be released at some point in 2019, although Netflix has not yet confirmed an exact date.

While series one was released in November 2016 and series two in December 2017 – just in time for Christmas – Netflix was also anticipating a longer break in between series two and three due to the introduction of the brand new cast.

Netflix release dates 2019: all the major upcoming TV shows revealed

Filming began in July 2018, and Olivia Colman confirmed at the Oscars that principal filming had finished in February 2019 – although she was still working on reshoots.

“We’ve just finished season three a week ago, and when I go back I’ve got to do some reshoots” she said in a interview following her Oscar win on 24th February 2019. “We start again with season four in August.”

That’s good news for the future of the series, as it suggests we won’t have to wait as long for season four to be released. After that however, the cast is set to change again…

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.

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)

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.

New star Tobias Menzies revealed to RadioTimes.com that the series will include an episode on the Apollo 11 moon landing, and how Prince Philip reacted to the momentous event in history.

“We’ve just been shooting a really interesting episode which was all tied into the moon landings in ’69,” he revealed.

“[Showrunner] Peter [Morgan] has taken this angle that Philip gets very absorbed by the heroism of these men compared to what maybe he hasn’t done with his own life.”

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. 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)

A first look at Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip was released on 28th August.

First look at Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip in The Crown season three (Netflix)
First look at Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip 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.

Netflix has seemingly struck gold with the casting, especially after Colman won the Oscar for playing a different queen in 2018 film The Favourite.

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.

She has also warned people however that her role as Queen Elizabeth will be very different compared to her Oscar-winning performance as Queen Anne in The Favourite.

“You can’t compare the two. They both have the word ‘queen’ in the title but that’s it, that’s where it ends,” she said in a post-Oscars interview with ABC.

“Queen Elizabeth’s much harder to play. There are sort of no rules for Queen Anne: no one can say, ‘She doesn’t sound like that.’”

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

Explaining how he prepared to play the Duke of Edinburgh, Menzies told RadioTimes.com, “I just listened to him loads. It’s partly a technical thing: you want to sound and look like him, but move like him too. I’ve gone slightly crazy just listening to him and listening to him.”

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.

View this post on Instagram

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.

Camilla Shand (now known as Camilla Parker-Bowles, or the Duchess of Cornwall) In October 2018, Netflix confirmed that Call the Midwife star Emerald Fennell would play the key role of Camilla Shand – Prince Charles’ future wife.

“I’m absolutely over the moon and completely terrified to be joining so many hugely talented people on The Crown,” Fennell said, adding cheekily, “I absolutely love Camilla, and am very grateful that my teenage years have well prepared me for playing a chain-smoking serial snogger with a pudding bowl hair cut.”

The X-Files and Sex Education star Gillian Anderson meanwhile will play Margaret Thatcher.

Game of Thrones star Charles Dance will be appearing in The Crown too, although his role is as-yet unconfirmed. Rumour has it however that he will play Prince Charles’ favourite great-uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten…

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, 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.