Season three of Netflix’s hit series The Crown, which traces the lives of the British royal family, is due to arrive on your streaming device today. Take note of these five must-know items before you watch it and, of course, get the inside scoop on the show straight from the new cast here.
The Timeline Jumps Ahead
The first two seasons were set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but in season three, the timeline jumps ahead to the late 1960s and early 1970s. So much happened in Britain and the world at large during this era that showrunner Peter Morgan had plenty of topics to address in the script.
There's a Whole New Cast
Since the show jumped ahead to a new decade, the script called for a whole new cast. Replacing Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II is Olivia Colman, and replacing Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret is Helena Bonham Carter. Ben Daniels will replace Matthew Goode as the new Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret’s husband. Tobias Menzies has stepped into the role of Prince Philip, taking over from Matt Smith, and we are also introduced to adult versions of Prince Charles (played with eerie accuracy by Josh O’Connor) and Princess Anne (played by Erin Doherty).
The World Has Changed Around Them
With a television set in the majority of households in Western nations, the royal family has never been more on display or more pursued by journalists. Aware of their increasingly public profiles, the royals try to work with the media rather than against them, but that doesn’t always go according to plan. As the flashier of the two sisters, Princess Margaret also gets more of the social spotlight, and uses the attention to her advantage during a major tour of the United States.
The Scandals Are More External
With the the 1960s acting as a major turning point in society, season three focuses on a country on the cusp of massive societal upheaval. Coming off an economic slump, dealing with the death of a prominent political figure, and facing unexpected tragedies throws the royal family into a mode of crisis management, particularly Queen Elizabeth. Other major events, like the moon landing, are also viewed uniquely through the lens of the British royal family.
While the first two seasons focused heavily on the relationship between Elizabeth and Philip, as well as the Profumo affair, most of the scandals and issues seen in season three are of an external nature as we see the family grappling with forces beyond their control.
The Stage Is Set for Princess Diana
While Elizabeth and Philip, as well as Princess Margaret’s engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend, were the relationships in focus during the first two seasons, this season puts a spotlight on Prince Charles’ budding romance with Camilla Parker Bowles. Not only do we see the growth of their relationship, but also the family’s reaction to it. This season is definitely laying the groundwork for the arrival of Princess Diana (who has already been cast for the next season, played by newcomer Emma Corrin).