9 Things We Know About The Crown Season 3
Since making its premiere on November 4, 2016, The Crown—which won the 2017 Golden Globe for Best Drama—has become an indisputable hit for Netflix. The series, created by two-time Oscar nominee Peter Morgan, follows the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II and the ups and downs of the royal family.
Now that season two has dropped—and you’ve most likely already binge-watched all of it—we’re already looking ahead to season three, which will likely return in late 2018. Here’s everything we know about The Crown’s third season so far.
1. OLIVIA COLMAN WILL PLAY THE QUEEN.
From the very beginning, creator Peter Morgan made it clear that each season of The Crown would cover roughly a decade of history, and that the cast would change for season three and again in season five (to more accurately represent the characters 20 and 40 years later). In October, it was announced that Broadchurch star Olivia Colman—who won a Golden Globe Award last year for her role in The Night Manager—would take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II.
When discussing her replacement with Jimmy Fallon, current Queen Claire Foy praised her successor, joking that "You'll forget all about me and the rest of the cast. You'll be like, ‘Who are they?' We're the warm-up act."
2. COLMAN HAS SOME EXPERIENCE PLAYING A ROYAL.
Though she might be best known for her role in Broadchurch, Olivia Colman is no stranger to playing a member of the royal family. In 2012, she played Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon—wife of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret—in Hyde Park on Hudson. Later this year, she’ll play Queen Anne in Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, with Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.
3. HELENA BONHAM CARTER IS "ALL BUT CONFIRMED" TO PLAY PRINCESS MARGARET.
Though there's been no official announcement, the Evening Standard reported that Helena Bonham Carter is "all but confirmed" to play Princess Margaret in The Crown's next season. Like Olivia Colman, Carter also has some experience playing a royal: She also played Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, often referred to as the Queen Mother, in the Oscar-winning The King's Speech.
4. MATT SMITH’S REPLACEMENT HAS YET TO BE ANNOUNCED, BUT THE ACTOR HAS AN INKLING.
While Matt Smith’s replacement as Prince Philip has yet to be announced, passing an iconic role on to another actor is something the former Doctor Who star has some experience with. "It was hard to give up the Doctor—you want to play it for ever. But with this, you know you can’t," Smith told The Times.
While he’s not naming names, Smith did tease that he may know who will play Philip next during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers. “I don’t want to speculate too much, but … he’s brilliant, if it’s the person I think it might be,” Smith said. “And he’s incredibly handsome as well. I’ve morphed into someone far better-looking than I.”
5. PRINCESS DIANA WILL MAKE HER FIRST APPEARANCE IN SEASON 3.
As The Crown moves forward, time will, too. And the next season will feature two key figures of the 1980s. "Peter is writing [Margaret] Thatcher and [Princess] Diana for season four,” Smith told The Times, adding that, “I’m looking forward to seeing where they take it, to be honest."
Though fans worried that, based on the current time jumps between seasons, it would take another few years to see Princess Diana be introduced, Morgan confirmed to People Magazine that Princess Diana will make her first appearance toward the end of season three and that she will be heavily featured in the two seasons that follow.
6. CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES WILL ALSO BE FEATURED.
As it’s difficult to cover the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana without including Camilla Parker Bowles as part of the story, the current Duchess of Cornwall will also make her first appearance in season three.
“Peter [Morgan]’s already talking about the most wonderful things,” The Crown producer Suzanne Mackie revealed during the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival in April 2017. “You start meeting Camilla Parker Bowles in season three,” she said, noting that they were then in the process of mapping out seasons three and four.
7. PRINCESS MARGARET’S MARRIAGE TO LORD SNOWDON WILL STILL BE A PART OF THE STORY.
Princess Margaret’s roller-coaster relationship with Antony Armstrong-Jones played a major part of The Crown’s second season, and the dissolution of their marriage will play out in season three.
“We’re now writing season three," Robert Lacey, the series’ history consultant and the author of The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1, told Town & Country in December. “And in season three, without giving anything away—it’s on the record, it’s history—we’ll see the breakup of this extraordinary marriage between Margaret and Snowdon. This season, you see how it starts, and what a strange character, a brilliant character Snowdon was.”
8. VANESSA KIRBY IS JEALOUS OF WHOEVER TAKES OVER THE ROLE OF PRINCESS MARGARET.
While Vanessa Kirby, who has played Princess Margaret in the first two seasons, knows that the cast will undergo a shakeup, she’s not afraid to admit that she’s jealous of all the juicy drama the next Margaret will get to experience (whether it's Helena Bonham Carter or not).
“I was so desperate to do further on,” Kirby told Vanity Fair, “because it’s going to be so fun [to enact] when their marriage starts to break down. You see the beginnings of that in episode 10. I kept saying to [Peter Morgan], ‘Can’t you put in an episode where Margaret and Tony have a big row, and she throws a plate at his head?’ I’m so envious of the actress who gets to do it.”
Kirby even went so far as to suggest that Margaret’s life could be turned into its own series, telling Morgan, “‘We need to do a spin-off.’ You actually could do 10 hours on Margaret because she’s so fascinating. There’s so much to her, and she’s such an interesting character. I know that parts like this hardly ever come along.”
9. IT SHOULD JUMP AHEAD IN TIME A BIT.
Considering that both Camilla Parker Bowles—who Prince Charles dated from 1971 to 1973—and Princess Diana will be featured, along with the breakup of Princess Margaret’s marriage (which ended in 1978, though they separated in 1976), it’s safe to say that at least part of season three will take place in the mid- to late 1970s. Which will be slightly ahead of the previous decade-long plan for each season.