This is who will be playing Camilla Parker Bowles in The Crown season 3

The TV world has been treating us well this autumn – and things are only looking up for the colder months ahead. We’ve not only got Line of Duty season 5 to look forward to, but the highly anticipated third season of Netflix hit, The Crown, is returning too.

That’s right, the scandalous royal drama will be back on Netflix sooner than you think as Olivia Colman succeeds Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in the critically-acclaimed show’s third instalment.

It feels like only yesterday the Broadchurch star was confirmed to be stepping in to portray Her Majesty as the series enters a new time frame. But a year on from the announcement, it’s almost time to see her in action. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming third season of The Crown.

Who are the cast of The Crown season 3?

Fans will be forced to kiss goodbye to the original cast made up of Claire Foy (as the Queen), Matt Smith (as Prince Phillip) and Vanessa Kirby (as Princess Margaret) as the show introduces a host of new faces to replace them in the third and fourth seasons of The Crown.

Olivia Colman was the first new cast member to be announced. Speaking to Radio Times, the actress said: ‘I got a phone call from my agent when I was in a car [telling her that she had been asked to meet with director Peter Morgan]. I think I had fairly recently finished watching the first series, which I had done in about three nights – and so I was very excited. My agent was trying to be subtle, not knowing who was in the car with me and she went, ‘It’s something about a tiara’, and I went, ‘Oh, it’s The Crown!’

Back in January, Netflix then announced that Hollywood star Helena Bonham Carter will replace Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, while Matt Smith’s replacement was revealed to be Outlander star Tobias Menzies in March.

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And now Netflix has confirmed the news that Call the Midwife star Emerald Fennell will be playing a young Camilla Parker Bowles. She’ll appear opposite The Durrells star Josh O’Connor, who has been confirmed to play Prince Charles as the two meet in season 3.

Fennell’s fellow Call the Midwife actress Erin Doherty will portray Princess Anne.

What will The Crown season 3 be about?

As fans of The Crown will know, the first an second season covered the early years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, from 1947-63. However, the upcoming third and fourth seasons will see a shift in time focusing on the years 1964-76 – hence the change in the cast.

While the show’s producers have remained very tight-lipped about the plot of season three, it isn’t very hard to assume the basics given that the series chronicles the real life events of the British Monarch. If the season will look at the years between 1964-1970, history tells us that this is the period when the Queen cultivates her steadiest relationship with soon-to-be Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who served as head of the British government during this time.

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Additionally, it should also feature the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, the birth of Prince Edward (March 1964), and Prince Charles’ movement into the public eye following his coronation as the Prince of Wales in 1969.

The show’s producer, Suzanne Mackie, also mentioned during a talk at the BFI that season three would introduce Prince Charles’ second wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles.

When is The Crown season 3 coming to Netflix?

Due to the reshuffling of the show’s cast, it is unlikely that The Crown season 3 will drop before the end of the year. However, as season three and four are being shot back-to-back, this is hopefully the last time there’ll be such a gap between the release of the last two seasons. Filming kicked off in July so we can definitely expect the show to return in 2019.