I'm anticipating the day Meghan Markle becomes a character on The Crown, but until then, fans of the Netflix historical drama can count down the days until Olivia Colman first appears as Queen Elizabeth II on the upcoming Season 3. Set to play the role for Seasons 3 and 4, Colman's tenure as the Queen is far from over, but if you're still antsy to see her royal side, this The Crown Season 3 promo teases the Academy Award winner's debut as Elizabeth.
Hitting Netflix on Nov. 17, Season 3 of The Crown features an entire new cast that's signed onto the drama for two total seasons. Replacing younger actors from the series' first two years, Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tobias Menzies, and Ben Daniels portray older versions of the Queen, Princess Margaret, Prince Philip, and Antony Armstrong-Jones. Season 3 takes place from 1964 to 1976, veering away from Elizabeth and Philip's marital clashes in favor of detailing the demise of Princess Margaret's marriage to Antony, aka Lord Snowdon. In addition to following the two terms of prime minister Harold Wilson (Jason Watkins), the upcoming season will also introduce the Queen's two oldest children, Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) and Princess Anne (Erin Doherty), as young adults.
Netflix has gradually released photos and fleeting footage of The Crown's new actors in character, but less than two months before the Season 3 premiere, the streaming service has finally released a teaser trailer showing Colman speak as the Queen.
In it, the Queen is presented with a new portrait photo that a royal official compares to her older photo, which is of the Emmy-winning Foy as Elizabeth. "Everyone is delighted with the new profile, ma'am," he tells the Queen, "which they feel to be an elegant reflection of Her Majesty's transition from young woman to—"
"Old bat?" the Queen says.
"Settled sovereign," her official assures her.
"A great many changes," Queen Elizabeth says, observing her new photo. "Nothing one can do about it. One just has to get on with it."
Change is definitely in the air in Season 3 as Prince Charles begins a flirtation with his eventual second wife Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell) and the effects of the Cold War start to materialize among the royals. Season 4 of The Crown, likely debuting in 2020, will introduce Prince Charles' future wife Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) and prime minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), certainly hinting at even more focus on The Crown's female characters in the future.
As for Colman, she may seem cool and collected in this teaser footage, but she struggled in depicting the Queen's levelheadedness. "My problem is, I emote,” Colman told Vanity Fair. “The Queen is not meant to do it. She’s got to be a rock for everyone, and [has] been trained not to. We’ve discovered that I can’t do it."
As The Crown proceeds through history into more modern times, maybe the Queen's poker face will crack. Viewers will have to wait and see if Colman is the one to portray this breakthrough. Season 3 of The Crown debuts on Sunday, Nov. 17, on Netflix.