'The Crown' Season 3 Takes Shape With Anne & Charles Cast

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

The Crown has finished recasting the Royal Family for Season 3, leaving only Andrew Parker-Bowles and Camilla Shand's roles unfilled.

Filming for The Crown Season 3 has finally gotten underway after lengthy delays. Netflix's failure to anticipate how difficult recasting the entire main roster of their hit show has cost them a 2018 release date. The series will now not arrive until at least the early months of 2019, meaning they'll not be eligible for the Golden Globes or SAG-AFRA (aka the Screen Actors' Guild Awards) next January. But the wait looks to have been worth it, as the entire royal family has now been established for the next two seasons.

Helena Bonham-Carter as Princess Margaret (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

The series found their Elizabeth replacement early with Olivia Colman (Broadchurch) taking over for Claire Foy. Princess Margaret was next with Helena Bonham-Carter (Ocean's 8) agreeing to take on the role being left open by Vanessa Kirby. Prince Phillip was last, with Tobias Mendes (Outlander) stepping into outgoing star  Matt Smith's shoes. 

Over the last month, the show has revealed the rest of the royal family.

Ben Daniels as Tony Snowdon (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Tony Snowdon

First up, Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon, aka that rat bastard Margaret married. Matthew Goode is being replaced by Ben Daniels, best known for his role in Law & Order UK, though many Masterpiece fans will remember him from his turn on period drama The Paradise. Season 3 will include the run-up to their messy divorce, but the breakup itself will not come until Season 4.

Princess Anne

Next up, Princess Anne, Elizabeth's only daughter, who was for a while the spare to Charles' heir. At this point, with Andrew and Edward, her two toddler-aged brothers on the scene, she's fallen to fourth-in-line and has the freedom to do as she wishes with her life. (Within reason of course.)

Anne has generally been a non-entity in The Crown's first two seasons, a background child standing to the side of Charles mostly. As a teenager and early adult, she'll be played by Erin Doherty (Call The Midwife).

Prince Charles

As for the next iteration of Charles, his casting took a while, but they finally found an actor who boasts he "has the ears for it." Josh O’Connor (God's Own Country) will be taking over from Julian Baring, who really only stepped into the role towards the end of Season 2. This is a potentially career-making turn, as Season 3 will reenact the 1969 investiture, and Season 4 will bring Diana, marriage, and children into the picture.  

Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

Last but not least, the Queen Mother is also being aged up, with Marion Bailey (Allied) taking over the role Victoria Hamilton occupied the last two seasons. The Queen Mum somewhat faded into the background in Season 2, but her meddling this coming year will be key to some of the Palace's choices down the line. 

Prime Minister Harold Wilson

Outside the family, the major figure Elizabeth interacts with is her Prime Minister. This season will see liberal Harold Wilson rise to the PM's position, succeeding Harold MacMillian's replacement, Alec Douglas-Home. Wilson served his first term from 1964 to 1970, which covers much of Season 3. A party turnover will make Edward Heath the PM for a short stint from 1970-1974. Wilson will retake the position from 1974-1976, which will be part of Season 4. The role will be played by Jason Watkins (Being Human).

Now that Netflix knows how long their recasting process takes, they're filming these next two seasons back-to-back. This ensures they have plenty of time to go through it all again for Seasons 5 and 6, and not miss another year.

We'll be hearing more about The Crown as Season 2 arrives at the Emmys this September with 13 nominations, and filming for Seasons 3 and 4 continues into the fall.