Arts & Culture

7 Predictions For The Crown Season Three

Liberal politics, Margaret and Tony's messy breakup, and the introduction of Camilla Shand.
IMAGE NETFLIX
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Ahead of the premiere of The Crown's third season later this month, we're taking a look back at our predictions for the series, written just after season two dropped on Netflix.

The Crown’s second season was, if possible, even more addictive than the first, and if you’ve already binged the entire thing despite your best intentions to savor every moment of the royal drama, you’re not alone. The good news is that thanks to history, we already have a pretty good sense of what’s likely to happen in season three, which will probably pick up in the mid-sixties and go through to the mid-seventies.

Season two’s finale ended with the resignation of prime minister Harold Macmillan in October of 1963, although the season jumped back and forth in time and had previously covered later events like the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November of 1963. All of which is to say that creator Peter Morgan has some flexibility when it comes to his timeline–and given the cast change, a significant time jump between seasons two and three is possible.

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Here are seven predictions for what’s to come in season three of The Crown, including Camilla Shand, a political revolution, and the one plot point that’s guaranteed to be a tearjerker in light of recent events.

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YOU'LL SEE SOME NEW FACES IN THE CAST NEXT SEASON.

Photo by NETFLIX, GETTY.

Admittedly, this is not a prediction so much as a solid fact we’ve had confirmed for more than a year, but it’s such a huge deal that it bears repeating. Given the amount of time that The Crown ultimately needs to span, it would take a lot of prosthetics for the same actors to play them for more than two seasons, which is why Olivia Colman will be taking over from Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth when the show returns. Expect more casting information to start rolling in early in 2018, but for now, feel free to spend your Christmas break speculating wildly about who could play the older Philip, Margaret, et al.

CAMILLA WILL MAKE HER FIRST APPEARANCE...

Though Camilla is widely known as Prince Charles’s second wife–and for having an affair with him while he was married to Princess Diana–Charles actually met her long before Diana, in the early 1970s. Producer Susan Mackie has confirmed that Camilla will be introduced in season three, which will follow Charles in his twenties. Though Charles and Camilla's initial relationship ended in 1973, when she married her first husband Andrew Parker Bowles, it was reportedly rekindled by the 1980s and was ongoing through both of their marriages. In her infamous BBC interview with Martin Bashir in 1995, Diana obliquely referred to Camilla when she said, "There were three of us in this marriage."

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...BUT THE FUTURE PRINCESS DIANA WILL NOT.

Despite Peter Morgan saying that Diana Spencer would be introduced “towards the end of season three,” the future Princess of Wales will not appear until season four. In 1977, a 16-year-old Diana first met Prince Charles, who at the time was dating her older sister Lady Sarah, so when their introduction does appear on screen, it ought to be a delightful mess from the beginning. Charles and Diana were married in 1981, which means their wedding will also likely fall early in the fourth season.

MARGARET AND TONY WILL HAVE A VERY PUBLIC, VERY ACRIMONIOUS, VERY LENGTHY BREAKUP.

If you were swept up by the vivid, electric chemistry between Vanessa Kirby and Matthew Goode: understandable, but hold your horses. Though Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong Jones remained married for 18 years, the couple drifted apart and went through a very public and elongated breakup before finally divorcing in 1978. There were numerous affairs on both sides and a number of bitter arguments chronicled in the tabloids–so as Kirby told Harper's Bazaar recently, expect "lots of brilliant dysfunctional arguments and plate-smashing."

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BRITAIN WILL ELECT ITS FIRST LEFT-WING PRIME MINISTER IN A LONG TIME.

Photo by GETTY IMAGES.

The election of Labour leader Harold Wilson in October of 1964 marked a sea change after 13 years of the right-wing conservative party being in power. A slew of liberal laws was passed during Wilson’s tenure–among them the abolition of the death penalty in 1965, and the legalization of abortion and homosexuality in 1967. The royal family is required to remain politically neutral, but Queen Elizabeth's progressive stance on LGBT rights has long been rumored, so it will be fascinating to see her interact with Wilson and the liberal era he helped usher in.

THE HORROR OF BLOODY SUNDAY

It was a massacre so notorious and traumatic in the United Kingdom's history that U2 wrote a song about it. On January 30, 1972, British troops opened fire on a crowd of peaceful civil rights protestors in Northern Ireland, who were marching against a policy of detention without trial. Thirteen civilians were killed, 17 injured, and the incident remained highly controversial for decades to follow. In 2010, following the conclusion of a 12-year inquiry, then-prime minister David Cameron made a formal apology on behalf of the United Kingdom. The Crown has depicted several significant military events to date–most memorably the Suez Crisis early in season two–and given the significance of Bloody Sunday, its omission feels unlikely.

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BRITAIN WILL JOIN THE EUROPEAN UNION.

So... yes. Britain first joined the European Economic Community on January 1, 1973, along with Ireland and Denmark. Two years later, a referendum was held and 66 percent of the British public voted to stay in the European Community. In light of the recent "Brexit" referendum–in which Brits voted by a narrow margin to leave the European Union, triggering political and economic chaos that remains ongoing eighteen months on–this is likely to be a pretty emotional sequence of events.

WHAT WE LEFT OUT.

In the months leading up to The Crown's new season, several additional storylines for season three have been revealed, including: the 1969 moon landing, the Aberfan tragedy, a 1966 mining disaster in which 144 people were killed, Winston Churchill's funeral, Prince Charles's investiture as the Prince of Wales, and an episode featuring Antony Blunt, the Queen's art advisor, who was later found out to be a Russian spy.

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How The Stars of The Crown Compare to Their Real-Life Royal Counterparts

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OLIVIA COLMAN AS QUEEN ELIZABETH II

In seasons three and four, Colman will take over from Claire Foy in the role of Queen Elizabeth.

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HELENA BONHAM CARTER AS PRINCESS MARGARET

Bonham Carter will follow in the footsteps of Vanessa Kirby to play the Queen's sister.

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Photo by COURTESY OF NETFLIX / GETTY.

BEN DANIELS AS LORD SNOWDON

Daniels is taking over the role from Matthew Goode.

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TOBIAS MENZIES AS PRINCE PHILIP

The English actor best known for his dual roles on Outlander will play the Duke of Edinburgh in season three and four.

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JOSHUA O'CONNOR AS PRINCE CHARLES

Some fans may recognize the show's new Prince of Wales from the Masterpiece PBS series The Durrells.

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ERIN DOHERTY AS PRINCESS ANNE

Erin Doherty joins the cast in season three as the Queen's only daughter Princess Anne. Here, see how the show expertly recreated the Princess's ensemble at her brother's investiture as the Prince of Wales. 

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EMERALD FENNELL AS CAMILLA SHAND

The future Duchess of Cornwall makes her debut in season three of The Crown, played by Call the Midwife actress and Killing Eve screenwriter Emerald Fennell.

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JASON WATKINS AS HAROLD WILSON

Season three is set firmly in the Wilson era of British politics, with English actor Jason Watkins playing the Queen's fifth Prime Minister.

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CHARLES DANCE AS LORD MOUNTBATTEN

The Game of Thrones alum returns to the small screen as Prince Charles's beloved Uncle Dickie.

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GERALDINE CHAPLIN AS WALLIS SIMPSON

The American divorcée, who upended the British monarchy, appears once again in the series, this time played by the daughter of Charlie Chaplin, Geraldine. 

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MARION BAILEY AS THE QUEEN MOTHER

Elizabeth and Margaret's mom returns to the series, this time played by the Vera Drake actress.

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GILLIAN ANDERSON AS MARGARET THATCHER

While we won't see the U.K.'s first female prime minister until season four, actress Gillian Anderson has already started filming in costume.

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CLAIRE FOY AS QUEEN ELIZABETH II

Here's the show's original Queen, Claire Foy.

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MATT SMITH AS PRINCE PHILIP

Her partner on the series was Matt Smith, of Doctor Who fame.

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MICHAEL C. HALL AS JOHN F. KENNEDY

British politics are always a key part of The Crown's story, but in season two American president JFK also made an appearance.

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JODI BALFOUR AS JACKIE KENNEDY

JFK's wife Jackie, portrayed by True Detective actress Jodi Balfour, also played a role in the season two story; her visit to Buckingham Palace inspired an entire episode.

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VICTORIA HAMILTON AS QUEEN MOTHER

Victoria Hamilton is one of multiple members of the Crown cast who has played multiple members of the royal family over the course of their careers. In addition to portraying the Queen Mother, Hamilton has also played Queen Victoria.

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JEREMY NORTHAM AS ANTHONY EDEN

In addition to playing the British prime minister, Northam is known for his depictions of Thomas More in The Tudors, and Mr. Knightley in the 1996 adaptation of Emma.

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JOHN LITHGOW AS WINSTON CHURCHILL

The British bulldog himself was played in the first two seasons by American actor John Lithgow.

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VANESSA KIRBY AS PRINCESS MARGARET

Kirby, who played Princess Margaret in seasons one and two, says she and Helena Bonham Carter have spoken at length about the royal.

"Mainly we’ve been discussing her essence, really," Kirby explained to New York Magazine. "She’s really tried to capture the essence of Margaret, rather than copy me. Not that she would anyway. [Laughs.] Oscar-nominated actress! Her process is very much similar to mine. She asks for my playlists, my scripts, my notes. We just text about our love for Margaret nonstop, little anecdotes and stories like that."

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JARED HARRIS AS KING GEORGE VI

Harris wasn't in the show for long (after all, it is a series about his character's daughter's reign), but he made an impact on-screen before the King's untimely death.

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ALEX JENNINGS AS PRINCE EDWARD, DUKE OF WINDSOR AND LIA WILLIAMS AS WALLIS SIMPSON

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Like Victoria Hamilton, Jennings has played multiple members of the royal family, including Prince Charles, in Peter Morgan's 2006 film, The Queen. 

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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