9:15am PT by Jean Bentley
'The Crown' Season 3: All the Details (So Far)
Claire Foy parted ways with Netflix drama The Crown in royal fashion, taking home a SAG Award for her final season as the young Queen Elizabeth. The actress is among the stars who have already put in their two seasons and are leaving the series as showrunner Peter Morgan ages up his central characters for the previously announced seasons three and four as he looks to chronicle Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the present day.
What follows is a primer for season three of The Crown, and THR will update this page as more news becomes available about the new faces joining the franchise.
Netflix confirmed to THR that The Crown, produced by Sony Pictures Television Studios, has indeed already been renewed for seasons three and four. Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said the plan is for the series to run for six seasons total and cover the Queen's entire life.
"This is going to take Queen Elizabeth from age 29 to, presumably, the current day. We'll see it lay out over decades," he said in 2016. "The idea is to do this over six decades in six seasons presumably, and make the whole show [run] over eight to 10 years."
The New Stars
The Golden Globe winner — for her turn in the AMC mini The Night Manager — will take over for Foy as Britain's monarch for season three. Foy told THR that she was "philosophical" about the fact that her days of playing Her Royal Highness were numbered.
"The amazing thing about the show is the fact that it will go on and that it hasn't ended badly. It'll go on and have another life," she said. "I can't wait to watch it, and I just think whoever they get to play that part, they'll be extraordinary. I will never watch it with any sense of bitterness or regret. I will feel what I will feel now, which is so happy and lucky for the experience."
TBD as Prince Philip
After being near a deal to take over the role, Paul Bettany as Prince Philip had a scheduling conflict and a deal fell through for him to take over the role from Doctor Who grad Matt Smith, and a search for an actor to play Elizabeth's husband continues.
When Vanessa Kirby, who played the rebellious sister of Queen Elizabeth for the first two seasons, spoke with THR in 2017, she said she was jealous of whomever would follow in her footsteps as Princess Margaret — especially since the next actress will play Margaret during some particularly tumultuous years, as her marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon (first played by Matthew Goode), begins to crumble.
"I'm just so excited about whoever gets to do it because they've definitely got the coolest stuff coming up. Bring on the drama! I would have loved to have done it. I absolutely love to do all the blazing rows and getting drunk and just all of it. But I suppose I was lucky enough to have two seasons, so I could be more grateful, really.”
Still to be determined is who will take over as the Queen Mother (Victoria Hamilton in seasons one and two) or as Margaret's husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones (Goode).
The New Characters
Producers confirmed that the late Princess Diana will be introduced toward the end of the third season, and will be featured heavily in the fourth and as-yet-unofficial fifth seasons.
Camilla Parker Bowles
"You start meeting Camilla Parker Bowles in season three,” producer Suzanne Mackie said recently. "We have to be honest, season three and four are being mapped out and the closer the history comes — I now can say, 'God, I know exactly what I was feeling when that happened, I remember that and I remember this.' That's so exciting!"
The second season of The Crown ended with the birth of Elizabeth and Philip's fourth child, Prince Edward, in 1964. That season began shortly after where the first left off, and showrunner Morgan confirmed that the plan remains the same for the third.
The U.K.'s Sunday Times reported that the third season will focus on "the Wilson era," aka the 1964-1970 and 1974-1976 terms of Prime Minister Howard Wilson, and the fourth will focus on Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana.
Bookmark this page as THR will continue to update it as more information, including a return date, becomes available.