The Crown (season 3)
|The Crown (season 3)|
|Country of origin|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original release||November 17, 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 times 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 eight-year affair with baronet and gardening expert Roddy Llewellyn and suicide attempt that leads to the Princess's divorce from Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1978. US President Lyndon B. Johnson and Camilla Shand are also introduced.
- 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 Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon, known as Lord Snowdon and informally as Tony; Princess Margaret's husband
- Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Wilson
- Marion Bailey as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, George VI's wife 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
- Andrew Buchan as Andrew Parker Bowles
The below 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; known to his family as David
- Harry Treadaway as Roddy Llewellyn
- 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
- Sam Phillips as the Queen's equerry
- Sinéad Matthews as Marcia Williams, Labour politician who served as Harold Wilson's private secretary
- David Charles as George Thomas
- Stuart McQuarrie as George Thomson
- 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
- 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, The 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||November 17, 2019|
|In 1964, as Britain welcomes new Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Elizabeth hears rumors that Wilson is working for the KGB under the alias "Olding". She initially rebuffs them as gossip, but later learns from a dying Winston Churchill that he was suspicious of Wilson during his time as Prime Minister. Elsewhere, Margaret, now Countess of Snowdon, suffers from a failing marriage to Tony. The following year, while attending 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 and apologizes to Wilson, but decides to keep the truth secret for fear of a damaged reputation. Philip confronts Blunt in private and learns he possesses knowledge of the Profumo affair.|
|22||2||"Margaretology"||Benjamin Caron||Peter Morgan||November 17, 2019|
|In 1965, Margaret and Tony embark on a tour of the United States, visiting major cities along the West Coast and an Arizona family before attending Tony's book launch in New York. Back in the United Kingdom, Wilson tells Elizabeth the country needs a financial bailout from President Lyndon B. Johnson and invites him to discuss the issue. After three failed attempts, Wilson concludes the reason Johnson declined their invitation is that the United Kingdom failed to support America in the Vietnam War. At the last minute, Johnson invites Margaret to a private dinner at the White House, where she manages to persuade him to help with the bailout. Philip later advises Elizabeth not to give her any more responsibilities.|
|23||3||"Aberfan"||Benjamin Caron||Peter Morgan||November 17, 2019|
|In October 1966, following the Aberfan disaster, Elizabeth decides to postpone a visit to the village despite Wilson's attempts to convince her otherwise. Philip, however, attends the funeral of the children who died. The public blames the National Coal Board for the disaster before shifting blame onto the government. After receiving a letter criticizing her for not being sympathetic, Elizabeth confronts Wilson, who says it came from someone in his ranks. Elizabeth later visits Aberfan, laying flowers on graves and visiting grieving family members, and meets with Wilson about her lack of emotion. In private, she cries while listening to a recording of the song sung at the children's funeral.|
|24||4||"Bubbikins"||Benjamin Caron||Peter Morgan||November 17, 2019|
|In 1967, Wilson tells Elizabeth that Princess Alice, who has been living in Athens, Greece, is in danger from the recent imposition of military rule. Elizabeth arranges for Alice to come to the United Kingdom 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 they are normal people. Critics rebuff the documentary following its airing, prompting Philip to arrange an interview with The Guardian reporter John Armstrong. Armstrong, however, interviews Alice instead and the subsequent article is published to success, resulting in Philip making amends with his mother.|
|25||5||"Coup"||Christian Schwochow||Peter Morgan||November 17, 2019|
|In 1968, Elizabeth and Porchey travel to France and America to look at racehorses while Wilson decides to devalue the pound. Cecil Harmsworth King meets with Lord Mountbatten, proposing a plan to replace Wilson. Though initially skeptical, Mountbatten accepts the idea, but later states it cannot happen without authorization. Wilson calls Elizabeth and brings up his suspicions. Upon her return, Elizabeth scolds Mountbatten, who later visits Alice to discuss their old age and place in society.|
|26||6||"Tywysog Cymru"||Christian Schwochow||James Graham & Peter Morgan||November 17, 2019|
|On advice from Wilson, Elizabeth decides to take Charles away from university at Cambridge, where he has finally found some happiness and a taste for amateur dramatics, and send him for three months to Wales to study and learn the language prior to his investiture as Prince of Wales. There he befriends his Welsh tutor, Tedi Millward, and becomes sympathetic to Millward's Welsh nationalism. Charles's decision to include statements in his investiture speech which effectively express support for Wales angers Elizabeth, who has his speech translated after he has delivered it. Charles requests a meeting with his mother, hoping for appreciation or even some affection, but receives neither and instead is rebuked that he must remain impartial and should suppress his opinions. Charles returns to acting in a play at Cambridge, where Anne is among the audience.|
|27||7||"Moondust"||Jessica Hobbs||Peter Morgan||November 17, 2019|
|Amid the first moon landing, Prince Philip feels dissatisfied with his lack of achievement and searches for inspiration. When the Apollo 11 astronauts visit Buckingham Palace, Philip arranges a private interview. He asks them what the moon landing was like and, expecting "gods", is disappointed by their mundane replies. They in turn ask him what it is like to live in Buckingham Palace. He criticises the Dean of Windsor as boring, prompting Elizabeth to have the Dean retire. His replacement as Dean, Robin Woods, opens a new 'religious academy for personal and spiritual growth' in the castle grounds. Philip is invited to take part, and although he resists at first, he eventually shares his experience with the group at the academy, and becomes friends with Woods.|
|28||8||"Dangling Man"||Sam Donovan||David Hancock & Peter Morgan||November 17, 2019|
|This episode explores the beginning of the love triangle between Prince Charles, Andrew Parker Bowles, and Parker Bowles' girlfriend Camilla Shand, and Princess Anne's affair with Andrew Parker Bowles. It also deals with Elizabeth's final meeting with the Duke of Windsor, shortly before his death in 1972. They reflect upon the circumstances that led to Elizabeth's becoming Queen; he asks for her forgiveness, but she also remarks that she is sometimes thankful that he abdicated. He gives her the letters that Prince Charles has written to him, which she later reads with concern, in which he vows to be an individual. Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister following the 1970 general election.|
|29||9||"Imbroglio"||Sam Donovan||Peter Morgan||November 17, 2019|
|This episode deals with the Miners' Strike of 1974, and Lord Mountbatten and Queen Elizabeth's successful plot to stop the relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla Shand - Charles is told his relationship is over and is posted overseas for 8 months. After the Queen Mother talks to the parents of Andrew Parker-Bowles and Camilla Shand, the wedding takes place between Andrew and Camilla. The Queen, initially sympathising with Charles, hears from Anne about her affair with Andrew Parker-Bowles and her belief that Camilla is destined for him not Charles.|
|30||10||"Cri de Coeur"||Jessica Hobbs||Peter Morgan||November 17, 2019|
|This episode deals with the breakdown of Margaret and Tony's marriage, and their extramarital relationships with Roddy Llewellyn and Lucy Lindsay-Hogg, respectively. It also sees Elizabeth's silver jubilee, celebrated in 1977.|
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 timeline moves forward and 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 Prince Philip for the third and fourth seasons. 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 Antony Armstrong-Jones for the third season, along with Erin Doherty joining the series as Princess Anne. A month later, Josh O'Connor and Marion Bailey were cast as Prince Charles and the Queen Mother, respectively, for the third and fourth seasons. In October 2018, Emerald Fennell was cast as Camilla Shand. In December 2018, Charles Dance was cast as Louis Mountbatten. In April 2019, Emma Corrin was cast as Lady Diana Spencer for the fourth season.
The third season began filming in July 2018.
Rotten Tomatoes reported a 88% approval rating for the third season based on 78 reviews, with an average rating of 8.38/10. 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 85 out of 100 based on 27 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 cast performances, particularly Colman and Bonham Carter. The Guardian's Lucy Mangan praised the "top-notch performances" from the cast, 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".
Some criticism was leveled at the lack of nuance from the writing. The BBC's Hugh Montgomery found the writing "increasingly on the nose", though the season was "the best yet". Alison Rowat from The Herald opined some scenes were "over-engineered" and dialogue "too on the nose", but nevertheless the series excels as a political drama. Vulture's Jen Chaney similarly 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 humanizing 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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