After taking a full year off, Netflix's The Crown is back. It's a new decade, as the series moves into the 1970s. It's a new set of problems, as the economy crashes and general strikes rise in response. And more to the point, it's a new cast, as Queen Elizabeth moves into her 50s, along with her husband and sister, while the next generation behind her grows into adulthood. The new The Crown trailer for Season 3 celebrates that the times (and the cast), they are a'changin'.
The most significant change comes at the head of the series, as Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth from ages 25-45, gives way to Olivia Colman. Like Foy, Colman is contracted for two seasons and will inhabit the role of the Queen over the 1970s and 1980s, or from the approximate ages of 45-65.
The good news is that the series is going from one Emmy winning actress to another. The face may be a little different (and the eye color is definitely not the same), but the regal bearing has not waivered. Nor have her family problems. In fact, as Prince Charles and Princess Anne come of age in Season 3, the issues seem just to compound.
Check out the trailer below.
Fans of the royal family know this was not a great era in British near-history. The 1970s were seen as a bit of a dark age for the UK when everything that can go wrong did go wrong. This impression was helped along by things like "The Three Day Week." Here in America, we remember the 1970s as a time of gas crisis, when there were long lines at the pumps. For England, it was worse. Businesses were forced, by law, only to use electricity three days a week, making it so that many were reduced to part-time wages. Mix this with a general strike to improve working conditions across the country, and one can see why, politically, the country felt like a mess.
This was also a rough period for the monarchy. Elizabeth found herself guiding the British Empire, which once spanned the globe, into a gentle crash landing. Instead of colonies, Britain's holdings became commonwealths, who recognized her as a sovereign while forming independent governments.
As part of an effort to make the Royal Family more of a stately figurehead that the country could take pride in, Elizabeth revived the tradition of "investing" the Prince of Wales. It was sort of a pre-coronation, marking him as her official heir.
But as the trailer hints, this pomp and circumstance masked a genuinely terrible family dynamic behind the scenes. Charles' tragic marriage to Diana will not begin until Season 4. (Season 3 ends just before they meet in 1978.) But the groundwork that caused this disastrously unhappy courtship will be prepared. Fans should prepare themselves for a retelling of Charles' early relationship with Camilla, and why the two of them did not marry in the first place.
The Crown Season 3 will consist of 10 one-hour episodes. The show is scheduled to arrive on Netflix on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019.