'The Crown' Casts Its Young Camilla for Season 3

Emerald Fennell as Patsy in "Call the Midwife" (Photo: Love Productions)
Emerald Fennell as Patsy in "Call the Midwife" (Photo: Love Productions)

Netflix’s The Crown continues to add to its second generation of royals for its upcoming third season. Call the Midwife’s Emerald Fennell will play the young Camilla Shand, who will ultimately be Princes Charles’ second wife and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The basic premise of The Crown is to tell the life story of Queen Elizabeth II over six seasons, with each installment documenting roughly a decade of the monarch’s record-breaking reign. When Netflix originally greenlit the series, it was decided that rather than cast one group of actors for the entire run, they’d simply rotate through several different set of age-appropriate people every two seasons.

Fennell joins the previously announced second round of The Crown cast members, including Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tobias Menzies, Ben Daniels and Josh O’Connor. This all-star ensemble will all face the unenviable task of replacing the series’ award-winning inaugural set of actors. Therefore, for its third season, the show will age up Queen Elizabeth, her family and other Royal persons of interest as the series progresses through time, rather than simply cake over original stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith with age make-up.

For some roles, however, the persons involved hadn’t yet arrived on the scene, so to speak. Camilla Shand is one of those people, so Fennell will originate the part as the show introduces the woman who has had a decades-long relationship with Charles. (And just a messy connection to the royal family, generally.)

Season 3 of The Crown will pick up where Season 2 ended, taking the Royal Family through the rest of the 1960s and into the 1970s. During this time Camilla would have been in her late teens and early twenties, when she met and dated British officer Andrew Parker Bowles. They broke it off, he dated Princess Anne, she dated Prince Charles, neither of those romances worked out, and Andrew and Camilla ultimately married in 1973. But that, as we all know, wasn’t the end of the story. 

Fennell, for her part, seems extremely excited to be joining the cast and taking on such a big role.

“I’m absolutely over the moon, and completely terrified, to be joining so many hugely talented people on The Crown,” she said in an official statement from Netflix. “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.”

She’s probably best known for her role as midwife Patsy on the popular BBC drama Call the Midwife, but Fennell has also had roles in multiple films such as The Danish Girl and Pan. It turns out she’s also an accomplished writer, and will be taking over the Season 2 writers room for breakout thriller Killing Eve.

Season 3 of The Crown will premiere at some point in (probably early) 2019. What would you like to see? Are you looking forward to this new era?  Let’s discuss in the comments.