After a prolonged search, Tobias Menzies joined the show in March 2018 as Prince Philip, replacing Matt Smith. With Claire Foy and Matt Smith now gone, the drama is about to move into a new era both with a rebooted cast and with time moving forward in this epic story of the most famous family on the planet.
Find out everything we know about The Crown season three below…
What date and time is The Crown season three released on Netflix?
While season one was released in November 2016 and season two in December 2017 – just in time for Christmas – Netflix was always anticipating a longer break in between seasons two and three due to the introduction of the brand new cast.
But it shouldn’t be another two-year wait for the next instalment, as season four is already in production. “We start again with season four in August,” Colman confirmed following her Oscar win in February.
And after season four, we’ll be set for yet another cast change-over…
Why have the original actors been replaced?
Unusually for a TV drama, The Crown has been produced with changes in the central cast in mind.
The plan from the beginning has been to tell the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign across six seasons of 10 episodes each, with the cast reseting after the second and fourth seasons.
What is going to happen in The Crown season 3?
The third and fourth series will span the years 1964-77, with series one and two having covered the early years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, from 1947-63.
Show-runner Peter Morgan confirmed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the new season will focus less upon Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II’s relationship – which he suggests became settled after the years of turmoil depicted in season two – and more on the breakdown of the marriage of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon.
He added that Charles and Camilla will be a central focus of the season, too.
“People always assume Charles cheated on Diana with Camilla,” he says. “It’s absolutely the wrong way round. He was deeply in love with Camilla and forced to marry Diana.”
On top of this, the series 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.
“We’ve just been shooting a really interesting episode which was all tied into the moon landings in ’69,” he revealed.
Netflix, Sophie Mutevelian
“[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.”
Series three should also cover Prince Charles’ movement into the public eye following his coronation as the Prince of Wales in 1969.
Josh O’Connor, who plays the young prince, says the new series introduces Charles while he is still a student.
“We start off with Charles at Cambridge University, that’s where we bring him into the series,” he told RadioTimes.com. “This is where we scale a significant part of his life which I feel so honoured and excited to tell the story. And tell a very different side of the story that we may not have seen or have known about.”
“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!'”
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.”
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.
“It’s ticking little things people can register and identify as Prince Charles but going beyond that and creating a full character that isn’t just Prince Charles, and is something else.”
The Queen Mother is played by Marion Bailey.
In October 2018, Netflix confirmed that Call the Midwife star Emerald Fennell would play the key role of Camilla Shand (now known as Camilla Parker-Bowles, or the Duchess of Cornwall) – 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.”
While Corrin has been cast in the Netflix series, she won’t make her first on-screen appearance until season four. However, with filming beginning on the fourth season, her casting was confirmed in April 2019.
“I have been glued to the show and to think I’m now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal,” Corrin said.
“Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through Peter Morgan’s writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice!” she added.
Her new co-star O’Connor later praised the casting, telling RadioTimes.com, “I’ve met her and I think she is young but she’s totally on point. She’s an incredible talent.”
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.
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.
Is there going to be a season four of The Crown?
Yes, season four of The Crown will follow in 2020 with the same main characters, with a further two seasons (and a further cast reset) due in the following couple of years. So plenty more to look forward to for fans of the show.