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Who Should Play A Young Camilla In The Crown's Third Season?

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Though The Crown’s third season won’t premiere on Netflix until 2019, we’re already starting to piece together a picture of what to expect from Olivia Colman’s on-screen reign. Details of plot and cast are finally coming together: shortly after Colman was confirmed for the role of Queen Elizabeth, an official announcement revealed that, in a casting master-stroke, Helena Bonham Carter would be our next Princess Margaret. Since then, the role of Prince Philip has been passed on to Tobias Menzies, and that of Margaret's husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, to Ben Daniels. We're still waiting, however, to learn concrete details of the show's younger generation. At this stage, we know that season three will introduce a twenty-something Prince Charles (rumoured to be played by this year's BAFTA Rising Star nominee Josh O'Connor) and Camilla Parker-Bowles as major players, as the drama's focus expands to encompass a new generation of royals.

The apocryphal story of Camilla’s first encounter with the Prince of Wales has the pair meeting at a polo match in 1971, with the future Duchess of Cornwall reminding Charles that their ancestors had history: Alice Keppel, her great-grandmother, was a famous mistress of King Edward VI. Whether or not you believe this to be Camilla’s exact opening line, she and the Prince soon struck up a relationship, despite her not being considered the ‘right’ sort of woman by Palace elders, one which would persist, on and off, through their respective marriages (to Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973, and Diana in 1981.)

It’s not hard to see why playing the People’s Princess might be an appealing proposition for any young actress, but the role of Camilla is a trickier one. The Charles-Camilla-Diana dynamic, after all, will cast a shadow over at least two future seasons of The Crown: for this royal love triangle to work, each of its three points must be compelling enough to avoid falling into a black hole of ‘80s tabloid headlines (a fate that Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Charles and Diana will either side-step or lean into when it tackles the same territory). Whether the show’s producers chose to pick an established name, a rising star or a relative newcomer, we have plenty of suggestions…

So, who will be The Crown's Camilla Parker-Bowles?