The Crown’s returns brings a breath of fresh heirs as Olivia Colman takes overAugust 13, 2019
The countdown has begun to the right royal return to our screens of global TV hit The Crown.
Netflix announced the hugely anticipated third series of the regal drama will be available to watch from November 17.
But this time round there’s a changing of the old guard at Buckingham Palace – as out goes 35 year-old Clare Foy as the Queen, and in comes 45 year-old Oscar winner Olivia Colman.
And the first pictures of her playing Queen Elizabeth II show she’s every bit the middle-aged majestic monarch.
The latest photographs shows Colman pictured in a dusky pink suit, perched on a sofa with two sidekick corgis by her side.
Created by Peter Morgan, The Crown has been a ratings hit, with more than seven million Brits tuning in.
The lavish show, rumoured to cost around £100 million per series to make, is filmed all over the world and pulls in an A-list cast.
With knock-out performances from Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby, the first two series won over viewers with its stunning sets, witty scripts and pacy drama.
So as we await the third 10-episode season, what and who can we expect to see?
By royal appointment, here is everything you need to know about the long-reigning show…
The Crown has been filmed all over the world, and it’s expected producers have returned to many of the same locations.
Scenes in Westminster Abbey were actually filmed in Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, while a lavish room inside Buckingham Palace was actually Goldsmiths Hall in the city of London.
The Greenwich Naval College buildings play the part of Buckingham Palace’s courtyard, while Ardverikie Estate in the Inverness region of Scotland has featured as Balmoral.
Location Manager Pat Karam says: “Our Buckingham Palace is made up of three stately homes. It’s an amalgamation of five different locations if you include the sets.
"We’ve used Lancaster House in every season as well as Wilton House near Salisbury. The private quarters are all sets.”
In this series, the cast have been spotted filming in west London, as well as in the Brecon Beacons and also the former coal mining village Cwmaman in Wales. Parts of some episodes have been shot on Merseyside.
Josh O’Connor has been snapped strolling through Caernarfon ready to film at Caernarfon Castle for his scene where Charles has his investiture as Prince of Wales.
And with Princess Margaret and Roddy spending time on the island of Mustique during that period, there is speculation that filming has taken place on the Caribbean island.
As the drama moves on, the cast has been given a complete revamp with older actors taking the lead.
Colman has a lot to live up to as Foy won a Golden Globe for her performance in season one.
She’s said: “I’m so thrilled to be part of The Crown. I was utterly gripped watching it. A proper ‘Just one more’ feeling. 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!”
Meanwhile, Game Of Thrones and Outlander actor Tobias Menzies, 45, will star as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, taking over from Doctor Who’s 36 year-old Matt Smith as the Queen’s husband.
Movie actress Helena Bonham Carter, 53, takes over from Hobbs & Shaw’s Vanessa Kirby, 31, as the royal rebel Princess Margaret. Helena said: “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. The only thing I can guarantee is that I’ll be shorter than Vanessa.”
Taking over from 41-year-old Matthew Goode as dapper celebrity photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones, who later became Lord Snowdon, is House Of Cards actor Ben Daniels, 55.
While God’s Own Country actor Josh O’Connor, 29, plays Prince Charles, Call the Midwife’s Erin Doherty plays Princess Anne and 68 year-old Marion Bailey takes over as The Queen Mother from Victoria Hamilton, 48.
Josh quipped: “I am reliably informed I have the ears for the part and will fit right in.”
Producers have also announced that Jason Watkins will play Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Charles Dance will play Lord Mountbatten.
Call The Midwife Star Emerald Fennell, who wrote the second season of Killing Eve , will be introduced as the young Camilla Shand, who went on to marry Prince Charles.
Emerald said: “I absolutely love Camilla and am very grateful that my teenage years have well prepared me for playing a chain-smoking serial snogger with a pudding bowl haircut.”
The first two seasons of the historical drama traced Queen Elizabeth II’s life from her wedding in 1947 through to the birth of Prince Edward in 1964.
Season three picks up in that same year when the Labour leader Harold Wilson entered Downing Street and covers his first term until 1970 and second between 1974 and 1976.
The period covers changes in laws on abortion, divorce and capital punishment.
The show will likely explore the moon landings in 1969, the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean in the early ‘70s, and Prince Charles’ increased presence in the public eye being invested as the Prince of Wales by his mother in 1969.
We can expect some racy drama too as the show also tackles Princess Margaret’s adulterous affair with gardening expert Roddy Llewllyn, who will be played by Harry Treadaway, and the subsequent breakdown of Margaret and Snowdon’s marriage.
Behind the scenes photos of the drama also showed scenes of the royal family attending Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965 after his death aged 90.
The drama also covers the Aberfan tragedy, in which 116 children and 28 adults died in the Welsh village when a colliery spoil tip collapsed in October 1966. Colman was photographed recreating the Queen’s visit to the grieving village in the days following the disaster.
And the drama will also feature Camilla first meeting Charles at a polo match in 1971 when they were both in their early 20s.
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