The Crown‘s third season is slowly starting to take shape, as more and more details are coming through on the Netflix drama’s future.
Most pressing is the fact the show’s return will also see a major shake up in its stars, as the likes of Claire Foy, Matt Smith, and Vanessa Kirby depart so the central characters can be aged up to match the passing decades.
Olivia Colman has already been confirmed as the new Queen Elizabeth, with Paul Bettany being lined up to play Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. Still to be cast are the Queen Mother (previously played by Victoria Hamilton) and Margaret’s husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones (Matthew Goode).
However, The Hollywood Reporter has also added that two major new characters will be introduced in season three: Princess Diana, who will then be featured heavily in the fourth and as-yet-unconfirmed fifth seasons, and Camilla Parker Bowles.
“You start meeting Camilla Parker Bowles in season three,” producer Suzanne Mackie said recently. “We have to be honest, season three and four are being mapped out and the closer the history comes — I now can say, ‘God, I know exactly what I was feeling when that happened, I remember that and I remember this.’ That’s so exciting!”
The Sunday Times reported that Diana, alongside Margaret Thatcher, will be the focus of season four, while season three will focus on era marked by the terms of Prime Minister Howard Wilson (1964-1970 and 1974-1976).
Showrunner Peter Morgan has confirmed that the new season will start shortly after where the second ended, as happened before; our last glimpse was of the birth of Elizabeth and Philip’s fourth child, Prince Edward, in 1964.
Diana will also arrive to the small screen as the focus of Feud‘s season season, which will move from the rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis to the breakdown of Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage.
Netflix had previously confirmed that The Crown has been renewed for season three and four, though content chief Ted Sarandos has stated the plan is for the show to run a total of six seasons, reaching up to the present day.