One of Netflix’s, ahem, crown jewels is about to return. The Crown, an opulent period drama that takes a look at the lives of the House of Windsor, returns in November. Information for something so beloved and craved is decidedly sparse, but not nonexistent. We at GQ will be gathering together what paltry scraps we can piece together to give us an idea of what series three has in store. Which is ironic, considering it already happened in real life. Still! Onwards!
What is The Crown?
In case you’ve somehow lived under a rock – or in a Republican version of history – for the past few years, The Crown is one of Netflix’s biggest dramas, chronicling Queen Elizabeth II’s ascent to the throne and everything that followed. It’s become known for its complex portrayal of a very opaque woman, a long-reigning ruler who never lets the mask slip. Plus: Vanessa Kirby and Claire Foy both gave exceptional performances.
What happened in The Crown’s first two series?
I mean history. History happened. No, I’m being facetious: series one focused on Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, early rule, the end of Churchill’s premiership and Princess Margaret deciding not to marry Peter Townsend after a series-long crisis. Series two looked at the Suez Crisis, Macmillan, the Profumo affair and the marriage of Elizabeth and Philip: doing as much as to explore the possibility of marital discord without actually saying anything treasonous. Also: JFK! Lord Snowdon! Difficult pregnancies!
What can we expect from series three of The Crown?
Based on the fact Thatcher has been cast for series four, it’s safe to say the third series will cover most, if not all, of the royal family’s various goings-on throughout the Seventies. Diana met Prince Charles in 1977, while Thatcher first became prime minister in 1979, and generally a series covers a decade.
Currently we know series three could cover the collapse of Princess Margaret’s marriage, Charles and Camilla’s blossoming relationship pre-Diana, and potentially, if it stretches as far as 1979, the IRA killing of Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s uncle. We also know that there will be an episode focusing on Prince Philip’s reaction to the Apollo 11 moon landing, the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, and the birth of Prince Edward.
Who is in The Crown?
Series three marks a brand-new cast to mark a brand-new era. Olivia Colman, of course, is taking over as Queen Elizabeth II. Helena Bonham Carter is playing Princess Margaret and Tobias Menzies will play Philip. Jason Watkins is playing Prime Minister Harold Wilson, while Ben Daniels will be playing Antony Armstrong-Jones. Erin Doherty plays young Princess Anne, while Gods Own Country’s Josh O’Connor comes aboard to play Prince Charles. Marion Bailey is playing the Queen Mother, Emerald Fennell plays Camilla Shand and Emma Corrin plays Lady Diana Spencer.
Finally, last and most certainly not least, Gillian Anderson will be playing Thatcher, although it is likely we won’t see Thatcher – or Diana for that matter – until series four.
Who is writing The Crown?
The principal writer is Peter Morgan, who you will know from writing The Queen (which starred Helen Mirren) and Frost/Nixon among others. As well as writing probably the most acclaimed movie about Queen Liz you’ve ever seen, he also wrote The Audience, a play which is also very good at talking about her and her dynamics with politicians, so if you had to get anyone to make a show about her it is absolutely him. No word yet on any cowriters (there have only ever been two).
Who is directing The Crown?
The directors of series three are as of yet unknown. However, regular faces such as Stephen Daldry, Philip Martin and Benjamin Caron are probably likely.
When can I watch the new series of The Crown?
The whole thing will be delivered unto us on November 17 on Netflix.