We finally know who will be starring in the third series of Netflix’s The Crown – but there’s as extra-special royal link you may have missed…
As fans of the show will no doubt be aware, series two of The Crown concluded in 1964, after the birth of the Queen’s fourth and final child Prince Edward.
The third series will pick up in the Seventies, and is expected to continue exploring the relationship between the Queen and Prince Philip, as well as giving her children more prominent roles – but, of course, this leap forward in time means that we have to bid a royal ‘adieu’ to Claire Foy and Matt Smith.
Here’s who will be taking their place in the show for season three…
Queen Elizabeth – Olivia Colman
As previously reported, Olivia Colman will be stepping into Foy’s queenly shoes for the third season of the critically-acclaimed show.
“I’m so thrilled to be part of The Crown,” said Colman. “I was utterly gripped watching it, a proper ‘just one more’ feeling.”
Paying homage to her predecessor, she continued: “I think Claire Foy is an absolute genius. She’s an incredibly hard act to follow. I’m basically going to rewatch every episode and copy her!”
Prince Phillip – Tobias Menzies
Tobias Menzies, best known for appearing as Edmure Tully in Game of Thrones and in the dual roles of Frank/Black Jack Randall in Outlander, will play the sulky prince in the next series of Netflix’s hit royal drama.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the new cast of The Crown and to be working with Olivia Colman again,” said Menzies.
“I look forward to becoming her ‘liege man of life and limb’.”
Prime Minister Harold Wilson – Jason Watkins
Jason Watkins has also been announced as a new addition to the cast, playing Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the hit historical drama.
The actor said: “I am delighted to become part of this exceptional show. Harold Wilson is a significant and fascinating character in our history, so I’m looking forward to bringing him to life through a decade that transformed us culturally and politically.”
He added that he was “excited” to be working so closely with Olivia and the whole team.
Princess Margaret – Helena Bonham Carter
Yes, you read that right: the actual HELENA BONHAM CARTER is joining the show. And, as the actress previously played the Queen Mother in The King’s Speech, there’s an extra-special royal link: she’s basically playing her own daughter this time around.
“I’m not sure which I’m more terrified about — doing justice to the real Princess Margaret or following in the shoes of Vanessa Kirby’s Princess Margaret,” Bonham Carter said in a statement.
“The only thing I can guarantee is that I’ll be shorter [than Vanessa].”
The casting news comes hot on the heels of The Crown’s recent pay scandal, in which it was revealed that Foy had been paid less than her co-star, Smith.
After her wage packet was made public (Foy was reportedly paid $40,000 per episode for the first two series), the producers of the show issued an apology to both her and her male co-star over the pay disparity.
“We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own,” said a spokesperson for Left Bank Pictures.
“Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.”
Executive producer Suzanne Mackie later promised: “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,”
You can read more on the gender pay gap here.