Your complete guide to ‘The Crown’ season three

By Meaghan Wray

The fictional Royal Family from Netflix’s critically-acclaimed series The Crown is turning over for the next generation, welcoming new faces like Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter into the fold as characters face new decades in its third season. Many royal fans (and royals themselves!) are binge-watching this series, which provides a deep dive into the history of Britain’s monarchy – with, perhaps, a few juicy embellishments to boot! Until the next segment of the series airs, here is everything you need to know.

Helena Bonham Carter is set to play Princess Margaret. Photo: © Netflix Canada

When is it airing?

Per the BBC, the show is set to return for a third season in 2019. But fans won’t have to wait as long for season four as the cast is currently filming two at once. “We’re doing them back-to-back. I’m writing them all at the moment,” Peter Morgan, the series’ showrunner, revealed at a BAFTA Masterclass. “We’ve got Olivia [Colman], which is fantastic, and now we’re just embarking on the process of casting.”

What is the time period?

The third season will cover “the Wilson era,” according to The Sunday Times, meaning it will take place between 1964 and 1976 – when Harold Wilson was in office as UK prime minister. But Vanity Fair says the season is set to begin in the 1970s.

Who has been cast so far?

On April 9, The Crown’s Princess Diana was finally revealed! British actress Emma Corrin, who bares striking resemblance to the late royal, will play the late Princess of Wales. The Grantchester star took to Instagram to share the exciting news, writing: “I have been glued to the show and to think I’m now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal. 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!”

Olivia Colman has been cast to play the Queen, taking on the role after Claire Foy stunned royal watchers with her incredible portrayal of the young monarch. Helena Bonham Carter will take over from Vanessa Kirby as Her Majesty’s rebellious younger sister, Princess Margaret .

On taking over for Claire, Olivia remarked to Radio Times: “It’s a very hard act to follow up. They – the people, the grown ups – put us in touch so I could ask her about it and she was just lovely – she’s one of the sweetest people ever and she’s brilliant.” Olivia has said she’s “full of fear” to follow up on Claire’s performance, we’re certain she’ll do the character justice!

Game of Thrones and Outlander star Tobias Menzies is slated to play Prince Philip, while Ben Daniels will take on the role of photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones , whose marriage to Margaret falls apart in this season. Jason Watkins will step into Harold Wilson’s shoes, depicting his two terms in office. Prince Charles, Princess Anne and the Queen Mother have also recently been cast, with Josh O'Connor, Erin Doherty and Marion Bailey taking on the roles, respectively. Camilla Parker-Bowles will also make her debut in this season, though the actress stepping into her shoes hasn’t yet been revealed.

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A post shared by Vanessa Kirby (@vanessa__kirby) on

We first found out the original cast members would be entirely replaced in Dec. 2017 when Claire told Vulture: “They’re getting rid of all of us. After two seasons, that’s it, I’m gone."

Where is the show currently filming?

Echo, a local publication in Liverpool, reported the show has turned the British city’s waterfront space into Washington, D.C. circa 1960 or 1970.

What about the pay inequity controversy?

Fans were outraged after it came to light in 2018 that Claire had been paid less than Matt Smith. Executive producer Suzanne Mackie revealed Matt, who played Prince Philip, was making more money than Claire as the monarch – supposedly due to his fame from Doctor Who – but going forward this will no longer be the case as Suzanne explained that now “no one gets paid more than the Queen!”

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