Thanks to The Crown, we’ve spent the last two years getting an intimate look at the scandals and sagas of the British royal family. When it returns for its third season, we’ll get a glimpse at life in Buckingham Palace during the 1970s.
But while the drama will likely be familiar, the faces won’t be. That’s because, in order to keep up with the aging figures, the series will recast every major player for Seasons 3 and 4.
We’ll see some familiar family members, like Elizabeth and Philip. And for the first time, The Crown will likely introduce us to one of the royal family’s biggest names. Here’s everything we know about The Crown’s Season 3 casting so far.
1. Queen Elizabeth II
Claire Foy brought the 20-and-30-something Queen Elizabeth to life with seemingly effortless grace. And in a lot of ways, it’s hard to imagine anyone else portraying the monarch. But we learned in January 2018 that Olivia Colman will take on the scepter and The Crown as the monarch in Seasons 3 and 4.
Foy herself was delighted when the casting news was revealed — and with good reason. If Colman’s previous work is any indication, her majesty will be in good hands. Colman has earned accolades for her work in series like Broadchurch and The Night Manager.
Her fans know that she has an innate ability to appear both aloof and gut-wrenchingly vulnerable. That skill is necessary when bringing the famously closed off queen to life. And we’re eager to see how Coleman’s Queen Elizabeth reacts and adapts to the myriad royal scandals of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Next: Nothing is set in stone as far as this controversial Season 1 and 2 figure is concerned.
2. Prince Philip
With Matt Smith’s help, The Crown’s first two seasons showed us a controversial side of Prince Philip. And so far, we don’t know who will take the reigns and play the queen’s husband in Seasons 3 and 4.
Paul Bettany emerged as a frontrunner in 2018. And for many fans, he would have been a perfect choice. He and Smith share a bit of a resemblance, and he tends to play characters that are a bit rough around the edges.
Next: This actress is more than up to the task of handling the drama in Princess Margaret’s life
3. Princess Margaret
Vanessa Kirby was undoubtedly one of the breakout performers of The Crown’s first and second season. Her portrayal of Princess Margaret was vulnerable and charismatic — and she made it easy to see how the queen’s younger sister could have lived such a dramatic life.
There’s no official confirmation from Netflix as to who will take over the role from Kirby in Season 3. But rumors abound that Helena Bonham Carter will fill Margaret’s fabulous shoes for the foreseeable future. Reports of her casting first surfaced in early Jan. 2018. Then, in mid-January, Kirby shared an Instagram image of herself with Carter and the caption, “Honoured.”
With roles in many of Tim Burton’s films, Les Miserables, and the Harry Potter franchise, Carter has more than proven she has a knack for dramatic roles. And she’s already had experience playing a member of the royal family. She was nominated for an Oscar for her take on Queen Elizabeth, Margaret’s mother, in The King’s Speech.
Next: Margaret’s husband’s will have a much bigger role in Season 3.
4. Antony Armstrong-Jones
Antony Armstrong-Jones made a big impression in Season 2 of The Crown. And his lust for life will likely continue to be a big story in Season 3, when we eventually see the dissolution of his marriage to Margaret.
So far, we don’t have many clues as to who will play the princess’ photographer husband. Fans are dying to see someone like Game of Thrones’ Tobias Menzies tackle Armstrong-Jones’ tempestuous nature in the next two seasons.
Next: A new generation of royals will come to the forefront in Season 3.
5. Prince Charles
Besides the Season 2 episode “Paterfamilias,” we haven’t seen much of Prince Charles on The Crown. That will change in Season 3, which will take place when Elizabeth and Philip’s son is in his 20s. The Crown will most certainly cover the public and private pieces of his complicated love life. We don’t know yet who will help us get to know Charles as a man.
Vulture suggested that Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis might be a perfect fit. Given how well he perfected the many facets of Neville Longbottom’s changing personality, he could fit right in in Buckingham Palace.
Next: Prince Charles’ first love awaits him in Season 3 of The Crown.
6. Camila Parker Bowles
Today, she’s the Duchess of Cornwall. But in the ‘70s, when she met Prince Charles at a polo match, she was Camilla Shand. Their love affair became one of the biggest British royal family scandals in history. And we’ll get to see its origins in Season 3 of The Crown.
No formal announcement has been made as to Camilla’s casting. But several names have been suggested — most notably, Oscar winner and future Captain Marvel Brie Larson.
Next: This royal’s tragic story begins in The Crown’s third season.
7. Princess Diana
Creator Peter Morgan has been vague as to whether Princess Diana will first appear in The Crown’s Season 3 or 4. But he’s hinted that she may show up as the third season draws to a close.
If that’s the case, they’ll face a huge challenge in casting an actress who can do justice to one of the most beloved women in world history. At the moment, the frontrunner appears to be — at least, in fans’ hearts — Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner. There’s no denying her star power, or the fact that she’s adept at showcasing both strength and vulnerability in her acting.
As Season 3 draws closer, we’ll be sure to learn more about what this new era of the royal family will look like.
Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.
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