In Review

The Crown season 3: what we know so far

Details of the new cast, release date, and what you can expect to see

It’s been 14 months since season two of The Crown was released on Netflix, and with no clear end to the maddening wait in sight, fans have plenty of questions about season three.

Who is in it?

From the beginning, the show’s creator, Peter Morgan, planned for cast change at seasons three and five rather than using CGI or make-up to artificially age the cast. That means this season will usher in new faces to represent the royal family for the next two installments. 

Olivia Colman, fresh from the success of taking home the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite, will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Claire Foy. But taking on the current queen comes with big expectations, as her predecessor already won an Emmy for best actress in the role.

Prince Philip will be played by Tobias Menzies, replacing Matt Smith. The Outlander star told Radio Times how he prepared to play the Duke of Edinburgh, saying: “I just listened to him loads… I’ve gone slightly crazy just listening to him and listening to him.”

Other confirmed cast members include:

  • Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret
  • Ben Daniels as Lord Snowden
  • Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
  • Call the Midwife’s Erin Doherty as Princess Anne
  • The Durrells star Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles
  • Marion Bailey as The Queen Mother
  • Emerald Fennell of as Camilla Shand, the future Camilla Parker-Bowles
When is it out?

The exact release date is unclear, but won’t likely come until later this year. While seasons one and two were released a year apart, in Autumn 2016 and 2017, filming for the upcoming seasons only began in July 2018, causing a later arrival. 

However, Radio Times confirms that season three and four are being filmed back-to-back, so the long wait should be rewarded with a shorter one for season four. 

What period does it cover?

Each season of The Crown covers about a decade of the queen’s reign, says Vogue. Seasons one and two covered years 1947-63, meaning season three should cover the period from 1964 to the mid-1970s.

“While the first and second seasons primarily focused on the Queen, how she coped with taking the throne, and her marriage, it seems that season three will shine more of a light on the younger members of the family - the royal couple's children,” says the magazine.

Historical and political events likely to crop up include the Queen’s relationship with Prime Minister Harold Wilson, the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, and Prince Charles’ coronation as the Prince of Wales and movement into the public eye. 

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