Everything We Know So Far About The Crown's Third Season
Now that you're finished binge-watching season two of The Crown, it's time to think ahead to season three. Here's what we know so far about the third installment of Peter Morgan's take on Queen Elizabeth II's reign.
WE WON'T HAVE NEW EPISODES UNTIL LATER THIS YEAR.
The timing hasn't been confirmed, but the BBC reported that new episodes of The Crown will premiere in 2019, and seasons 3 and 4 will be filmed back-to-back.
OLIVIA COLMAN AND TOBIAS MENZIES WERE RECENTLY SPOTTED FILMING IN FORMAL ATTIRE.
Showrunner Peter Morgan is famously recasting the entire show for season 3. Back in October of 2017, Netflix announced that 43-year-old Broadchurch star Olivia Colman—who won an Oscar this year for her role in The Favourite—will play the monarch for seasons three and four. And in March of 2018, Deadline confirmed that the Outlander star Tobias Menzies has signed on to play Prince Philip the Netflix series.
Fresh off her Oscars win, Colman headed back to filming The Crown, and in early March she was spotted alongside her co-star Tobias Menzies. Both actors were dressed the nines in formalwear, and per the Daily Mail, "the pair were filming an episode focused on Sir Anthony Blunt, the Queen’s art adviser who confessed in 1964 that he was a Russian spy."
WE FINALLY HAVE OUR CORE CAST.
In addition to Colman and Menzies, last year Netflix finally confirmed the rumor that Helena Bonham Carter would be playing the role of Princess Margaret.
Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter were spotted filming a funeral scene. It's unclear who is dead.
The most recent additions to the cast are Marion Bailey, who will play the Queen Mother and Josh O’Connor, who will play Prince Charles. In 2018 it was also announced that Erin Doherty would play Princess Anne and Ben Daniels would play Princess Margaret's husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, who is also known as Lord Snowdon.
“After being glued to the first two seasons of The Crown I am beyond thrilled to be joining the cast of this incredible piece of television. Snowdon was such a dynamic and complex man, I’m really looking forward to playing him,” Daniels told Variety in June of last year.
Jason Watkins is also joining the cast as Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Game of Thrones alum Charles Dance will reportedly appear in season three. Netflix has yet to confirm publicly, but per Digital Spy, he will play Lord Mountbatten, a role originated in the first two seasons by Greg Wise.
NETFLIX HAS RELEASED A NUMBER OF PHOTOS FROM SEASON THREE.
See Olivia Colman as the Queen, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, and Ben Daniels as Antony Armstrong-Jones below:
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth.
Helena Bonham Carter as Margaret.
Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip.
Ben Daniels as Antony Armstrong-Jones.
Entertainment Weekly also shared two additional photos from the third season, one of Princess Margaret dancing with her husband, and the other of the Queen and Prince Philip looking on.
CAMILLA WILL BE INTRODUCED.
At the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival in April of 2018, Producer Suzanne Mackie revealed that Camilla Shand, who will eventually go on to become Prince Charles's second wife and the Duchess of Cornwall, will be introduced in season three. She will be played by Call the Midwife's Emerald Fennell, Netflix confirmed in late October of 2018, and we got our first look at the future Duchess of Cornwall in January as photos from the set surfaced.
Camilla and Charles first dated in the early '70s, which certainly fits the timeline for season three; we can't wait to see what Morgan does with their rather scandalous relationship history.
"I'm absolutely over the moon and completely terrified," Fennell says about her casting. "To be joining so many hugely talented people on The Crown. 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."
She also told Vanity Fair, that it's been "freeing" to play Camilla as a young women, given the lack of information known about her early life. "The weird thing about Camilla Parker Bowles, there's very, very little about her as a young woman, which is quite freeing." She continued: "It means that I've been able to get a sense of her rather than being able to do a mimicry."
Camilla's nephew, Ben Elliot, recently told Vanity Fair that the Duchess has privately confessed to watching—and enjoying—the program. That said, she "wasn’t looking forward to the bits to come," her introduction to the series.
While People previously reported that Diana would make an appearance "toward the end of season three," casting director Nina Gold has confirmed she will not be featured until later. "Diana’s not in this season," Gold said to Vanity Fair. "When we do get to her, that is going to be pretty interesting."
Whenever she does show up on the series, the late Princess of Wale will be played by relative newcomer Emma Corrin.
THIS SEASON WILL RECREATE PRINCE CHARLES'S 1969 INVESTITURE CEREMONY.
While Charles officially became the Prince of Wales by letters patent in 1958, his formal investiture would not take place until the following year. That ceremony will reportedly play a role in the upcoming season, as evidenced by the set photo above.
Josh O'Connor, the actor who will play the young Prince, recently previewed his performance, explaining that Charles has a very particular way of moving.
"If you watch footage of the young Charles, there’s this thing — when he turns, he doesn’t turn with his body, he turns with his neck first, in a weird sort of Justin Timberlake-esque dance move," he told the Sunday Times.
"I like to think of Charles at the moment as a sort of tortoise, because he puts his neck out. It’s not even that he’s particularly slow, it’s more this idea of inquisitive head first.'"
WE KNOW SOME OF THE STORYLINES THAT WILL BE FEATURED.
Major moments will include the space race, the Queen’s 1972 state visit to France, and the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The timeline will cover "The Wilson Era": Season two took the royal family up to 1964, and if Morgan keeps with his chronological structure, season three will pick up right where the story left off (though there is a rumor of a time jump). Per the Sunday Times, the season will take place in "the Wilson era," referring to Harold Wilson, the prime minister from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976.
Variety has reported that season three will go from 1964 to 1976, and a statement from producers has confirmed it will go from 1963-1977.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Colman previewed a few plot points, and also revealed that the drama in Elizabeth's marriage to Philip has calmed down a bit. “I think they’ve gone into a much steadier phase in the 1960s. They’re older, more mature,” she said. She also shared that the Queen's relationship with her sister is also less tempestuous in the upcoming episodes.
“They have to come to blows, but they’re sort of the only ones who know each other that well and the only ones that each other can really trust,” said Colman. “[Elizabeth and Margaret] did everything together as children—they were taught in the same room, slept in the same room, everything. They saw the world from the same windows. Then they just get foisted into these positions that they didn’t really want.”
Season three will reportedly feature the 1966 World Cup. As Deadline reports, the show will include England's iconic victory.
A MAJOR THEME WILL BE THE DEMISE OF PRINCESS MARGARET'S MARRIAGE.
"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 Snowden was."
THE ABERFAN DISASTER WILL COME UP.
In 1966, tragedy struck the small Welsh village of Aberfan when a "colliery spoil tip" (a surplus of mining waste rock) collapsed on a school, killing 116 children and 28 adults. The Queen's delayed response to the disaster has been called one of her greatest regrets, as she did not visit the site for eight days.
The BBC reports that the incident, and the Queen's reaction to it, will be featured in season three of The Crown, and that producers have been meeting with residents of the village about how best to portray the disaster. The cast was recently seen filming what appears to be a scene about Aberfan.
Actor Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip on set.
Jeff Edwards, who survived the tragedy as a child, told the BBC that he has been in touch with the team, and that he also helped set up meetings for members of the community to discuss the show.
"Following these meetings the production team decided to put on a public meeting which was held earlier this month and at which a dozen or so residents turned up and they outlined their proposals to them," Edwards said.
The producers have also released a statement about the show's portrayal of the disaster, "The third season of The Crown will cover the major historical events of Elizabeth II's reign from 1963-1977 and all strongly felt the Aberfan disaster and the events that followed must be included, especially as it continues to hold a deep resonance for the nation and the Queen herself. "
The statement continues, "As producers, we feel a responsibility to remain true to the memory and the experience of the survivors, so have met with community leaders, as well as the people of Aberfan on a number of occasions as part of our in depth research and to discuss our approach." They have not filmed in Aberfan.
IT HAS FILMED IN MULTIPLE COUNTRIES.
During the summer of 2018, the publication Europe Press reported that the series was looking for extras in Spain, and seeking both men and women, between the ages of 25 and 65, with no visible tattoos.
Forbes also reported that the Andalusia region of the country "has been chosen reportedly because it still has well-preserved examples of 1960s architecture that will be used as key locations visited by Queen Elizabeth during that decade."
A local publication in Liverpool also reported that the show had transformed the city's waterfront into 1960s- or 1970s-era Washington, D.C. At this point, it's unclear if the series plans to cover Nixon's resignation and the Watergate scandal, or if the sets are there to represent Elizabeth II's State Visit in 1976.
THE SETS ARE GETTING AN UPGRADE.
According to Variety, Left Bank, which creates the series "sought planning permission for a new Buckingham Palace main gates and exterior, including the iconic balcony on which the royals stand at key moments. The Downing Street plans show a new Number 10 and the road leading up to the building itself."
WHILE CLAIRE FOY WAS PAID LESS THAN MATT SMITH FOR SEASONS 1 AND 2, MOVING FORWARD, THE QUEEN WILL MAKE TOP DOLLAR.
While on a panel at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem, executive producer Suzanne Mackie revealed that Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip in seasons one and two, was paid more than Claire Foy, who played Elizabeth in the show centered around the young Queen's reign.
His higher salary was reportedly due to his previous fame from "Doctor Who." Mackie clarified that moving forward, "no one gets paid more than the Queen," but Foy won't have a chance to cash in as the entire cast will change over for season three (more on that below).
Foy recently spoke out about the controversy saying she's "not surprised" by people's reactions to the news.
"I’m surprised because I’m at the center of it, and anything that I’m at the center of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of ordinary," Foy told EW.
"But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.’ But I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the center [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for."
According to Vanity Fair, Foy made approximately $40,000 per episode.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.