When The Crown returns for season three, a lot will be different. The Netflix drama about the lives of the British royal family will move forward with new characters and a new decade. Here's what we know so far about the show's third season.
While no official date has been set, the BBC reported that new episodes of The Crown won't premiere until 2019. Since season two was released in December 2017, that means more than a year between binges for diehard fans.
The biggest news surrounding The Crown's third season is definitely the cast. Fans have known for a long time that the plan was to recast the roles as the characters aged.
"After two seasons, that's it, I'm gone," Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth in the first two seasons, told Vulture in 2016. "They're getting rid of all of us. I don't [know] how they're planning on doing it, but they're such an incredible bunch of directors and producers that it's gonna be different and exciting."
Now, the time has come to recast. Here are the actors taking over the main roles on The Crown:
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth:
In October, Variety reported that Broadchurch star Olivia Colman will join the cast as Queen Elizabeth in Season 3.
Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret:
While it hasn't been officially confirmed, it's been widely-reported that Helena Bonham-Carter will replace Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret. Kirby seemed to confirm the news in January with an Instagram of her and Bonham-Carter posing together with the caption "honored."
Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip:
Early reports had Paul Bettany in discussions for the role, but he has since bowed out, and been replaced by Tobias Menzies. Menzies is famous for his roles on Outlander and Game of Thrones, and his casting as Prince Philip is sure to have fans excited. Netflix confirmed his casting in March 2018.
But Menzies won't get any tips from Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip in the first two seasons. "I wouldn’t give them any advice just like I didn’t give Peter Capaldi advice [when he took over as Doctor Who]," Smith told Newsweek. "They’ll find someone brilliant who’ll approach it with their own thought processes and personality."
New Cast Members
In addition to the major recasts, The Crown will add new actors as Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Camilla Parker Bowles. Netflix hasn't announced who will play these characters, but British bookmakers say Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner is the favorite to play Diana and that Oscar-winner Brie Larson is in the running for Camilla.
Season two left off with the birth of Prince Edward in 1964. The Crown's third season will cover at least the years 1964 to 1976, according to Variety. The Sunday Times reports that the third season will take place in "the Wilson era"—meaning Harold Wilson's time as prime minister, from 1964 to 1970 and then again from 1974 to 1976.
Season three will also cover Princess Margaret's divorce from the Earl of Snowdon.
"We’re now writing season three," The Crown's history consultant Robert Lacey told Town & Country in Decemeber 2017. "And in season three, without giving anything away—it’s on the record, it’s history—we’ll see the breakup of this . [In the second season], you see how it starts, and what a strange character, a brilliant character Snowden was."
As for Charles and Diana, don't expect to meet the late Princess of Wales early in the season—she'll reportedly make her debut at the end of season three and play a big part in season four. Since Charles and Diana didn't meet until 1977, if reports about Diana debuting at the end of the season are true, the show will extend past the Wilson Era.
Seasons three and four will be filmed back-to-back, which will hopefully make for a shorter wait for season four.
"We’re doing them back-to-back. I’m writing them all at the moment," showrunner Peter Morgan shared during a BAFTA Masterclass in February. "We’ve got Olivia [Colman], which is fantastic, and now we’re just embarking on the process of casting."