by Chris Harnick | Wed., Aug. 14, 2019 6:32 AM
After nearly two years without new episodes, The Crown's reign is continuing on Netflix. Season three of the Emmy-winning drama drops on Sunday, Nov. 17 with a brand-new cast playing the very famous English royal family.
For seasons three and four, which were shot back-to-back, Olivia Colman takes over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Emmy winner Claire Foy. In an interview with EW, Colman said she instantly signed on, but then quickly found herself questioning her every move.
"It's horrendous," she joked. "Everyone loves Claire Foy, so I have got the worst job in the world at the moment. You're saying all the worst things, thanks!"
Colman, who won an Oscar for playing Queen Anne in The Favourite, said she found herself "trying to do Claire impressions" during the early days of shooting The Crown. However, was it all part of the plan considering season three picks up basically where season two ended? "Yes, actually. Maybe it was a stroke of genius that I was doing that," Colman told EW. "That's what it was! Yes, that was pre-planned!"
Joining Colman in season three is Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Ben Daniels as Tony Armstrong-Jones, Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne, Marion Bailey as The Queen Mother and Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Bonham Carter actually met the late royal she's playing on screen, her uncle was "very close to her." They met at Windsor Castle and Princess Margaret said she was getting better, presumably she was talking about Bonham Carter's acting. Bonham Carter was nominated for an Oscar for playing her The Crown character's mother in The King's Speech.
Set between 1964 and 1977, the new season from Peter Morgan takes on a number of historical events, including Anthony Blunt's Soviet revelation and the 1966 Aberfan disaster, as well as many personal royal stories, like the marriage between Margaret and Tony Armstrong-Jones. The new season also features a young Prince Charles beginning his relationship with Camilla (Emerald Fennell) in the years before he met Princess Diana.
"People always assume Charles cheated on Diana with Camilla," series creator Peter Morgan said. "It's absolutely the wrong way round. He was deeply in love with Camilla and forced to marry Diana."
Princess Diana will be introduced in season four of the series, likely to premiere in 2020.
Get acquainted with the new cast below.
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Newcomer Emma Corrin is taking on the role of a young Princess Diana (then known as Lady Diana Spencer) in season four of The Crown.
"I have been glued to the show and to think I'm now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal," Corrin said in a statement released by Netflix. "Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through Peter Morgan's writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice!"
Actress Gillian Anderson is poised to play the Iron Lady in upcoming seasons of The Crown, according to multiple outlets.
Netflix has yet to comment on Anderson's possible role as the former British prime minister. As it stands, it's unclear if The Crown's Thatcher character will appear in both seasons three and four of the critically-acclaimed drama.
Marion Bailey will take over the role of the Queen Mother from Victoria Hamilton.
"Wonderful to be joining The Crown. It's a brilliant show and we have tough act to follow but what a gift to be playing the fascinating and greatly loved Queen Mother. Thrilled to be on board and working with such a top notch team," Bailey said in a statement.
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Viewers saw a young Prince Charles in The Crown season two, but that changes with a time jump.
"I am thrilled to be joining the firm for the next installment of The Crown. Seasons three and four 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," Josh O'Connor said in a statement.
His other credits include Peaky Blinders, Ripper Street and Florence Foster Jenkins.
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There's a new prime minister when The Crown jumps ahead some years for season three. Jason Watkins is playing Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
"I am delighted to become part of this exceptional show. Harold Wilson is a significant and fascinating character in our history. So looking forward to bringing him to life, through a decade that transformed us culturally and politically. And excited to be working so closely with Olivia and the whole team," he in a statement.
Watkins' other credits include Taboo, A Very English Scandal and Being Human.
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Doctor Who star Matt Smith played Prince Philip in the first two seasons of The Crown. Outlander's Tobias Menzies is taking over the role for the upcoming third season.
"I'm thrilled to be joining the new cast of The Crown and to be working with Olivia Colman again. I look forward to becoming her 'liege man of life and limb,'" he said in a statement.
In addition to Outlander, Menzies' credits include The Night Manager opposite Colman, Game of Thrones, Catastrophe and the British Getting On.
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Call the Midwife veteran Erin Doherty is reportedly playing Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
In addition to Call the Midwife, Doherty is in the Les Misérables miniseries.
Vanessa Kirby played Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of the royal drama. Helena Bonham Carter met with Kirby before her participation was confirmed.
"I'm not sure which I'm more terrified about—doing justice to the real Princess Margaret or following in the shoes of Vanessa Kirby," Bonham Carter said in a statement. "The only thing I can guarantee is that I'll be shorter than Vanessa."
Bonham Carter's credits include the Harry Potter film series, Ocean's Eight and The King's Speech.
Matthew Goode played the character of Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon, in the second season. Ben Daniels of Jesus Christ Superstar Live, House of Cards and The Exorcist fame, will play the part in season three.
"After being glued to the first two seasons of The Crown I am beyond thrilled to be joining the cast of this incredible piece of television," Daniels said in a statement. "Snowdon was such a dynamic and complex man, I'm really looking forward to playing him."
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Claire Foy is handing over the crown to Olivia Colman for the third season.
"I'm so thrilled to be part of The Crown, I was utterly gripped watching it, a proper ‘Just one more' feeling," Colman said in a statement. "I think Claire Foy is an absolute genius, she's an incredibly hard act to follow, I'm basically going to rewatch every episode and copy her!"
Colman won a Golden Globe for The Night Manager and has appeared in numerous other projects including Peep Show, Fleabag and Murder on the Orient Express.
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Emerald Fennell will play the future Duchess of Cornwall in the upcoming season.
"I'm absolutely over the moon, and completely terrified, to be joining so many hugely talented people on The Crown," Fennell said in a statement. "I absolutely love Camilla, and am very grateful that my teenage years have well prepared me for playing a chain-smoking serial snogger with a pudding bowl haircut."
The Crown season three premieres Sunday, Nov. 17 on Netflix. Head over to EW to read more about the new season.
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