The Crown (season 3)
|Country of origin|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original release||17 November 2019|
Olivia Colman stars as Elizabeth, along with main cast members Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Daniels, Jason Watkins, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Jane Lapotaire, Charles Dance, Josh O'Connor, Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Maloney, Emerald Fennell, and Andrew Buchan. John Lithgow and Pip Torrens return in cameo appearances.
Season three covers the time period between 1964 and 1977, beginning with Harold Wilson's election as prime minister and ending with the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Events depicted include the unmasking of the Queen's art adviser Sir Anthony Blunt as a Soviet spy, Harold Wilson and Edward Heath's respective terms as prime minister, the Aberfan disaster, the Apollo 11 moon landing, the 1969 Investiture of Prince Charles, the death of the Duke of Windsor, the death and state funeral of Winston Churchill, and Princess Margaret's affair with Roddy Llewellyn and her suicide attempt that leads to divorce from Tony Armstrong-Jones. US President Lyndon B. Johnson and Camilla Shand also feature.
- Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II
- Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Elizabeth's husband
- Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Elizabeth's younger sister
- Ben Daniels as Tony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon, known as Lord Snowdon; Princess Margaret's husband
- Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Wilson
- Marion Bailey as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, George VI's widow and Elizabeth II's mother
- Erin Doherty as Princess Anne, Philip and Elizabeth's second child and only daughter
- Jane Lapotaire as Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark, Philip's mother
- Charles Dance as Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Philip's ambitious uncle
- Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles, Philip and Elizabeth's eldest child and the heir apparent
- Geraldine Chaplin as Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, the Duke of Windsor's American wife
- Michael Maloney as Prime Minister Edward Heath
- Emerald Fennell as Camilla Shand, Charles's love interest
- Andrew Buchan as Andrew Parker Bowles
The following actors are credited in the opening titles of single episodes in which they play a significant role:
- John Lithgow as Winston Churchill
- Clancy Brown as Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States
- Mark Lewis Jones as Edward Millward
- Tim McMullan as Robin Woods
- Derek Jacobi as the Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, who abdicated
- Harry Treadaway as Roddy Llewellyn, Margaret's lover
- David Rintoul as Sir Michael Adeane
- Charles Edwards as Sir Martin Charteris
- Michael Thomas as Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, Elizabeth's uncle
- Penny Downie as Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Henry's wife
- Alan Gill as Winkie
- Pippa Winslow as Blinkie
- Mark Dexter as Tony Benn, Labour politician
- Lorraine Ashbourne as Barbara Castle, Labour politician
- Aden Gillett as Richard Crossman, Labour politician
- Sam Phillips as the Queen's equerry
- Sinéad Matthews as Marcia Williams, Harold Wilson's private secretary
- David Charles as George Thomas
- Stuart McQuarrie as George Thomson, Labour politician
- Patrick Ryecart as the Duke of Norfolk
- Connie M'Gadzah as Sydney Johnson
- Samuel West as Sir Anthony Blunt, Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures
- Angus Wright as Sir Martin Furnival Jones, Director-General of MI5
- Paul Hilton as Michael Straight
- Teresa Banham as Mary Wilson, wife of Prime Minister Harold Wilson
- Anthony Brophy as James Jesus Angleton, chief of CIA Counterintelligence
- Michael Simkins as Sir Patrick Dean, British Ambassador to the United States
- Martin McDougall as W. Marvin Watson, advisor to US president Lyndon B. Johnson
- Suzanne Kopser as Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady of the United States
- Pip Torrens as Sir Tommy Lascelles, Private Secretary to King George VI (in flashbacks)
- Verity Russell as young Elizabeth
- Beau Godson as young Margaret
- Richard Harrington as Fred Phillips
- Gwyneth Keyworth as Gwen Edwards
- Colin Morgan as John Armstrong, a Guardian journalist
- Miltos Yerolemou as Chronos
- Nigel Whitmey as Marquis Childs
- Colin Stinton as Lawrence E. Spivak
- Finn Elliot as young Philip
- Leonie Benesch as Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark, Philip's older sister (in flashback)
- John Hollingworth as Lord Porchester, nicknamed Porchey
- Rupert Vansittart as Cecil Harmsworth King, newspaper publisher
- Julian Glover as Cecil Boyd-Rochfort
- Philippe Smolikowski as Alec Head
- John Finn as Arthur "Bull" Hancock
- Nia Roberts as Silvia Millward
- David Summer as Thomas Parry
- Henry Dimbleby as Richard Dimbleby, BBC broadcaster
- Alan David as Ben Bowen Thomas
- Henry Pettigrew as Neil Armstrong
- Felix Scott as Buzz Aldrin
- Andrew-Lee Potts as Michael Collins
- Sidney Jackson as Prince Edward
- Marlo Woolley as Prince Andrew
- Fred Broom as Cliff Michelmore
- Daniel Beales as Patrick Moore
- Kevin Eldon as Priest Michael
- Matthew Baldwin as Kenneth Harris
- Togo Igawa as Hirohito, Emperor of Japan
- David Wilmot as Arthur Scargill, president of the Yorkshire branch of the National Union of Mineworkers
- Stephen Riddle as Derek Parker Bowles
- Judith Alexander as Ann Parker Bowles
- Robert Benedetti-Hall as Major Bruce Shand
- Nesba Crenshaw as Rosalind Shand
- Louis Zegrean as young Edward "Ted" Heath
- Richard Walsh as Joe Gormley, president of the National Union of Mineworkers
- Jessica De Gouw as Lucy Lindsay-Hogg, girlfriend of Lord Snowdon
- Nancy Carroll as Lady Anne Glenconnor, lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret and wife of Colin Tennant, 3rd Baron Glenconner
- Richard Teverson as Colin Tennant
- Martin Wimbush as Sir Ronald Bodley Scott
- Dan Skinner as Alastair Burnet
- Tim Bentinck as Sir John Betjeman
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|21||1||"Olding"||Benjamin Caron||Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|In 1964, as Britain welcomes new Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Elizabeth hears rumours that Wilson is working for the KGB under the alias "Olding". She rebuffs them as gossip but learns from a dying Winston Churchill that he was suspicious of Wilson during his time as Prime Minister. Margaret, now Countess of Snowdon, suffers a failing marriage to Tony. The following year, while at Churchill's funeral, Elizabeth witnesses Wilson engage in conversation with Russians. In Washington, D.C., a sleeper agent informs the Department of Justice of a KGB mole inside Buckingham Palace. Elizabeth later discovers art advisor Sir Anthony Blunt is the mole but decides to keep the truth secret for fear of reputational damage. Philip confronts Blunt in private and finds he knows about the Profumo affair.|
|22||2||"Margaretology"||Benjamin Caron||Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|In 1965, Margaret and Tony embark on a tour of the United States, visiting cities along the West Coast and staying with an Arizona family before attending Tony's book launch in New York. In the UK, Wilson tells Elizabeth that the country needs a financial bailout from President Lyndon B. Johnson, and invites him to come to Britain to discuss the issue. After three failed attempts, Wilson concludes that Johnson declines because the United Kingdom did not support America in the Vietnam War. At the last minute, Johnson invites Margaret to a private dinner at the White House, where her informality and sense of fun persuades him to help with the bailout. Philip later advises Elizabeth not to give her any more responsibilities.|
|23||3||"Aberfan"||Benjamin Caron||Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|In October 1966, following the Aberfan disaster, Elizabeth decides not to visit the village, despite Wilson's attempts to convince her to go. Philip attends the funeral of the children who died. The public blames the National Coal Board for the disaster before blame shifts toward the government. Hearing suggestions that she is not being sympathetic, Elizabeth confronts Wilson, who says this came from someone in his cabinet. Elizabeth later visits Aberfan, laying flowers on the graves and visiting grieving families. In private, she cries while listening to a recording of the hymn sung at the children's funeral.|
|24||4||"Bubbikins"||Benjamin Caron||Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|Elizabeth learns that Princess Alice, who has been living in Athens, Greece, is in danger from the recent imposition of military rule. She arranges for Alice to come and stay at Buckingham Palace, despite Philip's protests. As Elizabeth and Anne look after Alice, the royal family participates in a documentary to show the public they are normal people. Critics rebuff the documentary, prompting Philip to arrange an interview for Anne with Guardian reporter John Armstrong. However, Armstrong interviews Alice instead, and the subsequent article is a success, resulting in Philip making amends with his mother.|
|25||5||"Coup"||Christian Schwochow||Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|In 1967, Elizabeth and Porchey travel to France and America to learn about modern methods of racehorse breeding and training, while Wilson finally decides to devalue the pound. Cecil Harmsworth King meets Lord Mountbatten, and proposes a plan to replace Wilson. Mountbatten is attracted by the idea, but raises concerns about whether it is practicable. Wilson calls Elizabeth to raise his suspicions. Elizabeth scolds Mountbatten, who later visits Alice to discuss old age and their place in society.|
|26||6||"Tywysog Cymru"||Christian Schwochow||James Graham & Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|On advice from Wilson, Elizabeth sends Charles, who has found happiness and a taste for amateur dramatics at Cambridge, to Wales to learn the language before his investiture as Prince of Wales. He befriends tutor Tedi Millward and becomes sympathetic to his Welsh nationalism. Charles's decision to include statements in his speech expressing support for Wales, irritates Elizabeth. Charles requests a meeting with his mother, hoping for appreciation or even affection, but receives neither; he is told he must suppress his personal opinions. Charles returns to Cambridge and stars in a performance of Richard II, where Anne is in attendance.|
|27||7||"Moondust"||Jessica Hobbs||Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|In 1969, during the first moon landing, Philip starts feeling dissatisfied with his lack of achievement and searches for inspiration. When Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin visit Britain as part of their world tour, Philip arranges a private interview. Asking them what being on the moon was like, he is disappointed by their mundane answers and their elementary questions about palace life. Philip later complains about the Dean of Windsor, prompting Elizabeth to have the Dean retire and name Robin Woods his successor. Woods invites Philip to take part in the religious academy he has opened in the castle grounds. Philip tells the group he has lost his faith following his mother's recent death, and asks for their help in restoring it.|
|28||8||"Dangling Man"||Sam Donovan||David Hancock & Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|Charles is in a love triangle with Andrew Parker Bowles and his girlfriend Camilla Shand. Anne has an affair with Parker Bowles. Elizabeth meets the Duke of Windsor before his death; they reflect upon the circumstances that led to her becoming Queen. He asks for forgiveness, but she remarks that she is sometimes thankful that he abdicated. He gives her Charles’s letters to him, which she reads with concern. Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister following the 1970 general election.|
|29||9||"Imbroglio"||Sam Donovan||Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|Electricity supply is being rationed because of the miners' strike. Lord Mountbatten and Elizabeth succeed in stopping the relationship between Charles and Camilla - Charles is posted overseas for eight months. After the Queen Mother talks to the parents of Parker-Bowles and Camilla, they get married. The Queen hears from Anne about her affair with Parker Bowles and her belief that Camilla is destined for him, not Charles.|
|30||10||"Cri de Coeur"||Jessica Hobbs||Peter Morgan||17 November 2019|
|After her marriage continues to fall apart, Margaret is introduced to Roddy Llewellyn, and they begin a relationship. They visit the Caribbean, where they are photographed together; the pictures are printed in the newspapers. Elizabeth calls them back to Britain based on advice from her mother. Following Wilson’s resignation, Margaret attempts suicide, although after Elizabeth visits her, they bond again and talk about her failed marriage and their age. Britain celebrates Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee, marking her 25th anniversary as sovereign.|
By October 2017, early production had begun on an anticipated third and fourth season, and by the following January, Netflix confirmed the series had been renewed for a third and fourth season.
The producers recast some roles with older actors every two seasons, as the characters age. In October 2017, Olivia Colman was cast as Queen Elizabeth II for the third and fourth seasons. By January 2018, Helena Bonham Carter and Paul Bettany were in negotiations to portray Princess Margaret and Prince Philip, respectively, for these seasons. However, by the end of the month Bettany was forced to drop out due to the time commitment required. By the end of March 2018, Tobias Menzies was cast as Philip. In early May 2018, Bonham Carter was confirmed to have been cast, alongside Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The next month, Ben Daniels was cast as Tony Armstrong-Jones for the third season, along with Erin Doherty as Princess Anne. A month later, Josh O'Connor and Marion Bailey were cast as respectively Prince Charles and the Queen Mother. In October 2018, Emerald Fennell was cast as Camilla Shand. In December 2018, Charles Dance was cast as Louis Mountbatten.
The third season began filming in July 2018.
Rotten Tomatoes reported a 90% approval rating for the third season based on 100 reviews, with an average rating of 8.54/10. Its critical consensus reads: "Olivia Colman shines, but as The Crown marches on in reliably luxurious fashion through time it finds space for the characters around her, providing ample opportunity for the appealing ensemble to gleam, too." On Metacritic, the season holds a score of 84 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Anita Singh called the series "by far, the best soap opera on television". The Los Angeles Times's Lorraine Ali praised the attention to historical detail and the performances, particularly from Colman and Bonham Carter. The Guardian's Lucy Mangan praised the "top-notch performances", adding that the season is "so confident and so precision-engineered that you don't notice the defects". Daniel Fienberg for The Hollywood Reporter judged the cast transition to be a success, adding the series "remains a model for carefully crafted episodic storytelling".
There was some criticism of the lack of nuance within the writing. The BBC's Hugh Montgomery found it "increasingly on the nose", with the season "the best yet". Alison Rowat from The Herald opined some scenes were "over-engineered" and dialogue "too on the nose", but nevertheless that it excels as a political drama. Vulture's Jen Chaney found the writing "a bit heavy-handed" in nevertheless "an absorbing, thoroughly enriching experience". Reviewing for Variety, Caroline Framke thought the series does not always succeed in humanising the royal family, but when it does, it is "as compelling a portrait of how power warps individuals, and the world along with them, as exists on TV".
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