The Crown found so much success for Netflix in its first two seasons, winning huge acclaim for its lavish production and stand out performances, including from Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret,
With the series winning Golden Globes, Emmys, and BAFTA awards, all eyes are on the streaming service to continue to produce such a high standard for its future outings, especially considering the cast changes.
With Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter taking on the roles from Foy and Kirby, respectively, and the likes of Game of Thrones star Tobias Menzies replacing Matt Smith as Prince Philip, fans will also be eager to see how the new cast members compare to the old.
What dramas lie in wake for the Royal House of Windsor in the upcoming season?
With history, cast revelations, and set photos guiding us, here is what to expect from The Crown season 3.
The Crown season 3: 10 storylines to come 1. The Aberfan Disaster
Her aides wore black
(Image: David Sims/WENN.com)
In 1966, a tragic event occurred that would rock the British republic and the Royals thereafter.
The Aberfan Disaster saw the collapse of a colliery spoil tip on the morning of October 21, 1966, where a slurry engulfed local school Pantglas Junior School, killing 116 children and 28 adults.
Lord Charteris, who was The Queen’s late private secretary, said Elizabeth II’s biggest regret was not visiting the site sooner, as she went an entire week after the tragedy to pay tribute, coming under fire for her tardy arrival.
The series will tackle the hugely poignant time in a season 3 episodes, with Olivia Colman having already been pictured with other cast members recreating the scenes to a highly accurate degree.
Expect an entire episode centred on the tragedy.
A spokesperson for production company Left Bank Pictures revealed the decision to include the tragedy.
“The third season of the Netflix series The Crown will cover the major historical events of Elizabeth II’s reign from 1963-1977 and we all strongly felt that the Aberfan disaster and the aftermath must be included, especially as it continues to hold a deep resonance for the nation and the Queen herself."
- The Crown’s Olivia Colman recreates Queen’s historic 1966 visit to Aberfan days after disaster killed 144
2. Goodbye to Sir Winston Churchill
A damaging loss for the Queen to face in upcoming episodes will also be the death of her first Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.
As also portrayed in the series, the Queen learnt a lot from and respected the war icon in his time as Prime Minister under both herself and her father.
Colman and Bonham Carter were spotted in black clothes, mourning the loss of Churchill as they mark his passing with a lavish funeral.
John Lithgow played the character in the first two seasons.
The event will also leave The Queen Mother (now played by Marion Bailey) as the last of an old generation affecting the Queen, following the losses of her father (Jared Harris), Queen Mary (Dame Eileen Atkins), and the retirement of advisor Tommy Lascelles (Pip Torrens).
We wonder if The Crown will cover the top secret plans that were in place for his funeral.
- The Crown season three: First pictures of Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham-Carter on set
3. Harold Wilson as Prime Minister
The Crown has steadily charted the relationships of the Queen with her Prime Ministers and season 3 will be no exception.
Season three will start in 1964, the year the Labour leader Harold Wilson entered Downing Street, and it will cover his first term until 1970 and his second between 1974 and 1976.
The period saw many reforms, such as the liberalising of laws on abortion, divorce, capital punishment and theatre censorship. There was also the decriminalisation of private sexual acts between two men over the age of 21.
Wilson’s later years were also marred with splits within his own party who disagreed over Europe and trade unions, rising unemployment and economic rise and falls.
Wilson certainly left quite the legacy.
Jason Watkins has been cast as the Prime Minister for season 3.
4. Princess Margaret and Roddy Llewellyn’s affair
Helena strikes a pose as the troubled Princess Margaret.
Princess Margaret, now Countess of Snowdon, will continue to provide much drama for her sister and the series.
Now married to Anthony Armstrong-Jones (now played by Ben Daniels), Margaret begins to enjoy the parties and wild side of high society, but with two stormy personalities such as those of the Snowdons, their marriage will begin to implode dramatically.
Events will reach a major turning point with Margaret’s scandalous affair with gardener Roddy Llewellyn (Harry Treadway), with whom Bonham Carter has already been spotted on set in a romantic embrace.
Expect Margaret’s love life to have explosive scenes in the new episodes, and with it mark the change in the press’ relationship with the Windsors.
5. The escapades of Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon
Ben Daniels replaces Matthew Goode as Lord Snowdon.
Margaret wasn’t the only one to make waves with her behaviour in and out of royal duties, with the Earl of Snowdon taking a key role in the third season.
The Crown’s historian Robert Lacey told Town & Country "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…you see how it starts, and what a strange character, a brilliant character Snowdon was."
Snowdon was well known for his bohemian and rebellious behaviour, as we already glimpsed in the scenes from the show’s second season.
6. Prince Charles meets Camilla Shand
As the Prince of Wales, now played by BAFTA nominee Josh O’Connor, grows older and begins to enjoy numerous affairs as a royal bachelor, he will meet the love of his life.
Call the Midwife star Esther Fennell will join the series as Camilla Shand, who would later become his second wife and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Charles will fall head over heels for the high society horse-lover, but Camilla is not the virginal bride his family have in mind, prompting some tough choices that will affect the family from then on.
What will push Charles to sacrifice Camilla and eventually marry his first wife and mother of his children, Lady Diana Spencer?
- The Crown season 3: Camilla Parker-Bowles actress finally revealed
7. Smooth relationships for The Queen with her loved ones
After the troubles in the Queen’s marriage to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh in season 2, expect less drama from them in season 3.
"I think they’ve gone into a much steadier phase in the 1960s. They’re older, more mature,” Colman told Vanity Fair.
The same also is in store for the Queen and Princess Margaret, despite the difficulties faced by the sisters in the new episodes.
“They have to come to blows, but they’re sort of the only ones who know each other that well and the only ones that each other can really trust.
"[Elizabeth and Margaret] did everything together as children — they were taught in the same room, slept in the same room, everything. They saw the world from the same windows. Then they just get foisted into these positions that they didn’t really want.”
It looks like the Queen will be keen to let her daughter Princess Anne follow her heart too, when she marries her first husband Captain Mark Philips in the new episodes.
8. The Windsors get with the times
As The Crown takes us into the swinging sixties, what will the royals get up to in this brave new world?
The Queen will enjoy getting involved in the sporting world, with her role in the 1976 Olympics, which Colman told Vanity Fair they will cover.
Princess Margaret’s trip to Los Angeles will also bring some glamour – as if the show didn’t offer enough as it is!
Meanwhile, with the Space Race dominating the decade’s headlines with the frosty Cold War, the show will depict the 1969 Moon Landing in earnest.
Finally, 1969 saw Philip spearhead more modernising for the family in the form of a television documentary that allowed the general public to see inside the home of the Windsors and see them as simply a family.
9. Joining the Common Market of Europe
While the United Kingdom deals with the seemingly never-ending Brexit dramas of leaving the European Union, The Crown will tackle where the debates all began – back when the Queen visited France in 1972 to mark Britain’s entry into the European Common Market.
The scenes also see Colman and Bonham Carter tackle their best French, as they enjoy the diplomatic mission, which included a state dinenr with President Georges Pompidou at the lavish palace of Versailles.
“I’m all right with French from school, but her accent is impeccable. So I asked her to record [my dialogue],” joked Colman of her co-star to Vanity Fair.
10. The death of the Duke of Windsor
Alex Jennings as The Duke of Windsor in The Crown season 2.
Arguably the most controversial royal in the history of the House of Windsor, The Duke of Windsor had been beloved as David, Prince of Wales (the Diana of his day), but brought shame on his family when he abdicated his role as King Edward VIII to marry the love of his life, the divorcee Wallis Simpson, and forced his younger brother and the Queen’s father, George VI, to become king.
More or less in exile with his beloved Wallis, The Crown fans will have seen the Duke’s attempts to return to the spotlight in the first two seasons, but also be shamed in a dramatic encounter with his niece, where she confronted him about evidence of his Nazi sympathies and role in enemy conspiracies during World War Two.
The third season will tackle the final encounter between the Queen and her divisive uncle on her trip to France, where Colman’s Elizabeth will visit her dying uncle and his wife, Wallis.
Will the pair mend their differences before his passing, or will the past mean he is forever a family villain?
The Crown air date
Princess Margaret – wild child
Season 3 cast
The Crown season 3 will drop on Netflix in 2019.