So you binge-watched season two of The Crown the week it was released? We get you. Which is why we’ve compiled every single titbit the producers have let slip about season three – from who will play the key characters (which are all being recast) to the likely plot outlines. Let the countdown commence.
1/ Season three will be set in the 1970s
We have two The Crown producers confirming this on record. One, Susanne Mackie, revealed that the beginnings of Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles’ relationship will be covered in season three: “Peter is already talking about the most wonderful things,” she said at the BFI & Radio Times Festival in London, Harper’s Bazaar UK reports. “We start meeting Camilla Parker Bowles in season three.” The pair first met at a polo match in 1971, six years before Prince Charles met Princess Diana.
The show’s historian, Robert Lacey, has also let slip some of the new season subject matter, telling Town & Country that the break down of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon’s marriage will be a key focus. “In season three, without giving anything away – it’s on the record, it’s history – we’ll see the breakup of this extraordinary marriage between Margaret and Snowdon,” he revealed.
2/ Filming for seasons three and four will be back-to-back
Meaning we might have both on our screens sooner than we think. Show creator Peter Morgan has told Variety that filming for seasons three and four will be shot one after the other, and he is currently in the process of writing both.
3/ Olivia Colman will replace Claire Foy as the Queen
Acclaimed British actress Olivia Colman will play Queen Elizabeth II in the next phase of her life, replacing Claire Foy. “I just love her,” Digital Spy reports Foy as saying. “I admire her so much and the idea that we sort of will be doing the same job but not actually working together is just enough, I’m honoured by that.”
The Crown’s creator Peter Morgan explained his decision to recast key members to Variety, saying, “You can’t ask someone to act middle-aged. Someone has to bring their own fatigue to it. The feelings we all have as 50-year-olds are different to the feelings we all have as 30-year-olds.”
4/ Helena Bonham Carter is tipped to play Princess Margaret.
Something Vanessa Kirby basically confirmed with this Instagram post. Yesssssssssss.
5/ Tobias Menzies will replace Matt Smith as Prince Philip
Tobias Menzies is set to play Prince Philip in season's three and four of the hit Netflix series. You’ll remember him as Edmure Tully on Game of Thrones and from playing series' baddie Johnathan Randall in the popular Outlander series.
British actor Paul Bettany was rumoured to replace Matt Smith, but those negotiations have now come to an end. Smith had previously admitted he had a hunch who his replacement would be, telling Seth Meyers, “I don’t want to speculate too much, but he’s brilliant, if it’s the person I think it might be.”
“And he’s incredibly handsome as well,” he added. “I’ve morphed into someone far better-looking than I.”
6/ Prince Charles has been cast
A young Prince Charles (think aged 16-22) will appear in season three, played by British actor Josh O'Connor. 27-year-old O'Connor has starred in The Durrells, Peaky Blinders, Doctor Who and God's Own Country.
7/ We’ll have to wait for season four for the focus to shift to Princess Diana
Producers have confirmed that a young Princess Diana will appear by the final episodes of season three, before becoming the show's star in seasons four and five. Although season five is yet to be made official, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos has told The Hollywood Reporter that their current plan is to make six seasons of the hit show, spanning the entirety of the Queen's life.
That said, they're yet to work out how to tackle Princess Diana's tumultuous life. “The Diana stuff… I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with her if I ever get that far,” Morgan told Vanity Fair in December 2017.