If you’d have told me that soon one of my favorite shows would be an incredibly glossy biopic of Queen Elizabeth II, I’d have thought you were pulling my leg. And yet here we are. Seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown were some of the best TV I’ve seen in years and the cast shakeup for the third outing leaves me hungry to see what they’re going to pull out of their sumptuous hat for this next stage in the life of the British Royal family.
These two new images released today by Netflix feature the show’s leading couples, with Olivia Colman’s Queen Elizabeth and Tobias Menzies’ Prince Philip and Helena Bonham Carter’s Princess Margaret and Ben Daniels’ Antony Armstrong-Jones all at some kind of fancy party. In a neat summation of much of the show to date, Elizabeth is staring on with a somewhat disapproving stare as Anne enjoys herself, while Philip just looks into the middle distance.
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With the first two seasons taking place from 1947-1956 and 1957-1964, respectively, season 3 will cover roughly the next decade in the main couple’s life, with Elizabeth and Philip being in their fifties. The first two seasons have largely been about Elizabeth herself and the way she’s coped with and adapted to royal life (and how her marriage has become strained as a result). It seems that seasons 3 and 4 will widen their focus a little though and begin to get into the complicated personal lives of her children.
From previous set pictures, we know there’s going to be an episode about the Aberfan tragedy, there’ll be episodes exploring the decolonization of Africa and the Caribbean and a series-long plot charting the gradual disintegration of Princess Margaret and her husband’s marriage. It’s precisely this heady mix of history, politics and bitchy interpersonal drama at the very top of British society that’s got me hooked.
There’s a way to go yet before this hits the air, though. Both prior seasons of The Crown premiered in the winters of 2016 and 2017, respectively, so expect this next run to land in the fall of 2019 at the earliest.