If You're Not Excited Yet For Season 3 Of The Crown, Here's Why You Should Be

If it weren't for TV shows to look forward to, would there even be a next year? The longer the wait, the larger the din of anticipation grows. To think: Right now, as Game of Thrones writers finalize the twists of the show's final season, eager Redditors are working just as hard at predicting those twists.
But I'm even more excited for The Crown, that sumptuous show about the British royal family, than I am for Game of Thrones. Luckily, instead of vaporous theories, we have tangible breadcrumbs of information to subsist off until season 3 of The Crown premieres (which, like Season 8 of Game of Thrones, will air in 2019).
So, what do we know? We know that the upcoming season will look much different than prior seasons — it's been entirely recast with older versions of Queen Elizabeth & Co. We know that a teenage version of Camilla Parker Bowles will show up. We know that marriages will dissolve, and love triangles will be set into motion. But as for the pay gap? We can only hope that won't show up.
Read on for your complete guide to Seasons 3 (and 4) of The Crown.
Looking for more theories, recaps, and insider info on all things TV? Join our Facebook group, Binge Club. The community is a space for you to share articles, discuss last night’s episode of your favorite show, or ask questions! Join here.
1 of 8
Season 3 will be set during the "Wilson Era," from 1964 to 1976.

Past seasons of The Crown have been set over discrete periods of time – the first season took place from 1947 to 1955, which encompassed Elizabeth's marriage and Margaret's thwarted romance with Peter Townsend. Season 2 began with the Suez Crisis in 1956, and concluded in 1964.

Season 3 will begin where Season 2 left off: 1964, the year Elizabeth and Philip's son, Edward, was born. This period is called the Wilson Era, referring to the time when Labour politician Harold Wilson was Prime Minister (he served from 1964 to 1970, then 1970 to 1976). Likely, the season will focus on Great Britain's shifting role in global affairs, especially as 20 countries in Africa and the Caribbean undergo decolonization during the '60s and '70s.
2 of 8
Queen Elizabeth will have new prime ministers to deal with.

As we said earlier, the season takes place over the "Wilson Era," but Harold Wilson won't be the only P.M. who appears on the show. After Harold Macmillan resigned in 1963, five Prime Ministers held the position over the next 15 years. First came Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who served under a year. Harold Wilson's first term was from 1964 to 1970. Then, Edward Heath served for four years, before Wilson came back for 1974 to 1976, when The Crown ends. After Wilson came James Callaghan, whose term ended in 1979, when Margaret Thatcher was elected.

Likely, Margaret Thatcher, the longest-serving British Prime Minister, will be a central character in Season 4.
3 of 8
Seasons 3 and 4 will be filmed back-to-back.

Just like the first two seasons of Queer Eye were filmed in one go, so too will The Crown. "We’re doing them back-to-back. I’m writing them all at the moment," showrunner Peter Morgan said at a BAFTA Masterclass.
4 of 8

Honoured @thecrownnetflix

A post shared by Vanessa Kirby (@vanessa__kirby) on

There's a brand spankin' new cast.

Ignore the fact that Season 3 begins just where Season 2 leaves off and technically not much aging could've happened in the span of a few months, because Olivia Coleman — who you might know from Broadchurch or Fleabag — will be taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth from Claire Foy. In terms of preparation, Coleman's strategy is to learn from her predecessor. "I think Claire Foy is an absolute genius — she's an incredibly hard act to follow," Colman said. "I'm basically going to re-watch every episode and copy her."

The rest of Queen Elizabeth's crew will be completely recast, too. Tobias Menzies, who plays Claire's forlorn husband on Outlander, will take over for Matt Smith in the role of Prince Philip. Helena Bonham Carter is the new Princess Margaret; she and her predecessor, Vanessa Kirby, celebrated the role change in an adorable Instagram. "It's hard to recast," said the Crown's executive producer Susanna Mackie. "But once you've made that commitment, it's all or nothing. Everyone has to change."
5 of 8
There will be trouble in paradise.

After getting off to a thrilling start, complete with illicit motorcycle rides and art gallery trysts, Princess Margaret and Sir Anthony Armstrong-Jones's romance slumped into a tumultuous, dissatisfying partnership in Season 2. Their relationship will continue to deteriorate during the timespan depicted in Season 3.

While married to Margaret, Armstrong-Jones — better known as Lord Snowdon — had a series of extramarital affairs, the most famous being with Lady Jacqueline Rufus-Isaacs. Margaret had her own affairs, as well, including one with a 25-year-old landscape gardener named Roddy Llewellyn and another with Snowdon's Cambridge classmate, Anthony Barton. Eventually, Margaret and Anthony separated in 1978.

Since the season will focus on their marriage, we'll also get to see more Snowdon in action. “This season, you see how it starts, and what a strange character, a brilliant character Snowdon was," The Crown's history consultant, Robert Lacey, told Town & Country.
6 of 8
Elizabeth's kids will grow up.

Everyone will be recast — including Elizabeth's kids. In Season 3 of The Crown, we'll see Prince Charles and Princess Anne, who were just kids in the first two season, come of age. Casting director Nina Gold told Vanity Fair she plans to seek out up-and-coming talent, not movie stars, to fill those crucial roles.

“It’s quite interesting and fun to try and find new or new-ish talent," she told Vanity Fair. "When we cast Claire [Foy] and Vanessa [Kirby], they had done loads of really good work, but they weren’t very well-known to this kind of worldwide audience—which was great, because they totally owned the characters without too much baggage.”

In Season 3, Charles' character will pass through many milestones. He'll go to Cambridge. He'll become the Prince of Wales in a televised ceremony. And he'll meet Camilla Shand, who would one day become his wife. Anne, too, will graduate from college, date Andrew Parker Bowles (who would become Camilla's first husband!), and get married.
7 of 8
A grown-up Prince Charles' love life will get the spotlight in season 3.

We already know a lot about Prince Charles' love life – the extramarital affairs, the controversy. Now, we'll get the Crownified version.

In 1971, Prince Charles met Camilla Shand at a polo match. She charmed the 23-year-old prince with a pick-up line that would only work if you were of British royal stock: "My great-grandmother and your great-great-grandfather were lovers. So how about it?" Apparently, Charles was game. They started dating immediately, but broke up when Charles joined the Navy in 1971. Not soon after, in 1973, Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles. Later on, Charles and Camilla would have an affair while both were married — and eventually, Camilla would become Charles' wife.

While Camilla will definitely be a central character in Season 3, Diana will likely only appear for a small amount of time – if at all. Diana and Charles met for the first time in 1977, while he was dating Diana's older sister. Peter Morgan, The Crown's showrunner, is still unclear as to how Diana will fit into upcoming seasons of The Crown. “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. “I’ve mapped out what might be a third season. If she were to be introduced, it’d probably have to wait until the fourth.”
8 of 8
Womp, womp: The Crown won't be released until 2019.

In fact, filming hasn't even begun. Production for season 3 will commence in July 2018, which means we'll have to wait until early 2019 for the show to drop. For now, we'll wait hungrily for details.

More from TV


R29 Original Series