Absolutely Everything We Know So Far About The Crown Season Three

Helena Bonham-Carter and Olivia Coleman are in the cast and Emerald Fennell being spotted filming scenes as a young Camilla...

Olivia Coleman the crown

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Updated on

Would you like the good news or the bad news first? The bad news is: Netflix still haven't confirmed a release date for season three of The Crown yet. But the good news is that based on what we know about it - it's going to be the best season so far (yes, we called it).

Not only does season three feature some major cast updates to include national-treasure-of-the-moment Olivia Coleman and Helena Bonham-Carter(and it's just been confirmed that Emma Corrin will play Princess Diana in Season four), but it will also be set in the politically tumultuous Sixties and Seventies, covering a time period when a lot was going down with the Royal Family. This timeframe of the show will lay down the foundations for the Diana storyline to appear in future seasons - meaning an early romance between a young Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will feature heavily (the couple originally met at a Polo match in 1971, but Charles and Diana weren't engaged until some years later in 1981), and the Queen's only daughter, Princess Anne, is also expected to take on a significant role.

So what happened in series two? If you didn't catch the last season (what are you waiting for? It's still on Netflix - quick!) it brought us more marital strife between Claire Foy’s Queen Elizabeth and Matt Smith’s Prince Philip and a tentative happy ending for Vanessa Kirby’s Princess Margaret, (who moved on from her heartbreak over Peter Townsend with photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones, played by Matthew Goode) and a transatlantic cameo from Kennedys.

Naturally, we can’t wait for it to come back – but we’ll have to (at least for a little bit longer), as a full casting switch-up has meant that production was been pushed back, with Olivia Coleman confirming that principal filming concluded in February 2019. Once the teaser trailer is out we can expect it to air on Netflix within a few months (and we're all on tenterhooks waiting for it to appear). To sate our curiousity in the meantime, a handful of first look images for season three have been teased from the show's official Twitter account, which show Olivia Colman as the Queen, Helena Bonham Carter as a cigarette-toting Princess Margaret and Ben Daniels as her husband Lord Snowden, were each accompanied by a cryptic, single-word caption.

As we count down to the third series of Netflix's lavish royal drama, here's everything we know so far, from plot details to the latest casting news...

The Crown Season Three: All the latest news


The Crown S3 - Grazia

the crown1 of 13
CREDIT: Netflix

It’ll start off in the mid-Sixties

Season two closed in 1964, concluding with the birth of Elizabeth and Philip's youngest child, Prince Edward. The show's third round should pick up shortly after, with a storyline that will carry us through Harold Wilson's turbulent tenure as Prime Minister, which saw the UK gripped by economic crises and industrial strikes..

the crown2 of 13
CREDIT: Netflix

The cast will be entirely new

Tearing through a decade or so in just ten episodes, The Crown's characters are ageing at such a rate that the actors playing them just can't keep up. So, in the interests of verisimilitude (prosthetics and CGI trickery can, after all, only go so far) season three will inaugurate a fresh line-up of stars. While we're sad to wave goodbye to Claire Foy, Matt Smith and co, the promise of an entirely new cast is certainly one that'll keep us talking.

olivia colman3 of 13
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Olivia Colman is our new Queen

The first of these new cast members to be announced was Olivia Colman, who'll be stepping into the Queen's sturdy patent courts as The Crown moves through the Seventies and beyond. As one of Britain's best-loved (and most versatile) actresses (who this year earned her first Oscar for Best Actress in _The Favourite), s_he'll be joined by Helena Bonham-Carter, who'll embody Princess Margaret in her most turbulent years, while Tobias Menzies will be Matt Smith's replacement as Prince Philip. Newly announced as an addition to the cast is Ben Smith, who will play Anthony Armstrong-Jones opposite Helena's Princess Margaret.

the crown4 of 13
CREDIT: Shutterstock

We will meet Camilla

There were three people in this marriage, after all: season three will also mark Camilla Parker-Bowles' Crown debut. Charles and Camilla (née Shand) met and fell in love in the early Seventies, when they were part of the same posh countryside set. At the time, neither party was prepared to fully commit: Charles to a woman who didn't quite fit the mould required by the palace, Camilla to a life of royal rules and regulations.

josh oconnor5 of 13

Josh O'Connor will play Prince Charles

It's been confirmed that Josh O'Connor, one of this year's nominees for the prestigious EE BAFTA Rising Star award, is set to play a young Prince Charles for seasons three and four (you might recognise from God's Own Country or ITV's The Durrells). In the announcement he said: 'I am thrilled to be joining The Firm for the next instalment of The Crown. Seasons 3 and 4 will follow some of the most turbulent events in the Prince of Wales's life and our national story and I'm excited to be bringing to life the man in the midst of it all. I'm very aware it's a formidably talented family to be joining, but reliably informed I have the ears for the part and will fit right in.'

the crown6 of 13
CREDIT: Getty Images

Emerald Fennel will play a young Camilla

Meanwhile Emerald Fennel (Who was previously cast in call the Midwife and is stepping into Phoebe Waller-Bridges shoes as the screenwriter for season two of Killing Eve)has been cast as Camilla Parker-Bowles. Spotted filming new scenes in Pimlico, Central London, where Camilla lived when she first met Charles in 1970, Emerald said:'I absolutely love Camilla and am grateful that my teenage years have well prepared me for playing a chain-smoking serial snogger with a pudding-bowl haircut.'

princess anne 1960s7 of 13
CREDIT: Reginald Davis / Rex Features

Princess Anne could have some major storylines

He might be the heir to the throne, but it's not all about Prince Charles in season three: writer Peter Morgan has hinted that the Queen's only daughter, Princess Anne, could have some pivotal plotlines, involving her romance with first husband Captain Mark Phillips and the 1974 kidnap attempt outside Buckingham Palace. She'll be played by Erin Doherty, whose sole TV credit to date came in an episode of Call The Midwife last year.

Gillian Anderson8 of 13
CREDIT: Getty Images

Gillian Anderson is cast

Gillian Anderson has been cast as Margaret Thatcher, and will appear in season four. As Thatcher was elected in 1979 following tense political times with IRA bombings and increasing public animosity, her role could come into play at the end of the series, potentially bring a mind-blowing explosive finale.

the crown9 of 13

The Queen Mother will be played by Marion Bailey

Best known for her roles in Mr Turner and Vera Drake actress Marion Bailey will be taking over from Victoria Hamilton to take on the role of Queen Mother. Here enthusiasm at joining The Crown cast echoed many of the other new additions. She said: 'It's a brilliant show and we have a tough act to follow but what a gift to be playing the fascinating and greatly loved Queen Mother.'

the crown10 of 13
CREDIT: Netflix

Seasons three and four will be shot back to back

Peter Morgan, the show's creator, recently revealed that the next two seasons will be shot consecutively. 'We're doing them back-to-back. I'm writing them all at the moment,' he told the audience at a BAFTA Masterclass event.

the crown11 of 13
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Diana won't make an appearance this time around...

After teasing us with hints to the contrary, the show's producers have finally confirmed that we won't be introduced to Lady Diana Spencer in season three (despite the fact that the future Princess of Wales first met her husband-to-be aged just 16, when he was dating her older sister, Sarah) Whichever actress lands the coveted role will go on to take centre stage in season four, as the show starts to document her tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles; there are also rumours that the star could stay on into the fifth season. Let the casting speculation commence…

margaret anthony armstrong jones12 of 13
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Princess Margaret’s marriage will break down

We could trawl through the history books to pick out potential plot points for season three, one storyline which we can count upon is the disintegration of Princess Margaret's marriage to photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones. 'We'll see the break-up of this extraordinary marriage between Margaret and [Lord] Snowdon, historical consultant Robert Lacey told Town & Country last year. The couple were married for the best part of two decades, eventually separating in 1976 and formally divorcing two years later, with multiple infidelities on both sides.

the crown13 of 13
CREDIT: Netflix

The sets will be bigger and better than ever

Last year, the show's producers applied for permission to carry out new building work at the show's Elstree base, which has now received a green light from the relevant authorities. This means Buckingham Palace will get new gates and a balcony that's primed for royal waves (does this mean a wedding tableau?), while Downing Street will also be extended.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us