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The Crown is back and we are ready to binge.
Since its original release in November 2016, the Netflix show has drawn a legion of fans all over the world as it gives us a fictitious glimpse into the notoriously private lives of the British Royal family.
Mostly based on true events, The Crown’s success can be credited to the ornate costumes, witty dialogue, gorgeous scenery – and stellar casting.
While Claire Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby were excellent choices for the younger versions of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Princess Margaret, we're excited to see Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham-Carter take on these roles in season three.
The Crown: what was Princess Margaret's marriage like in real life?
This season will also see the introduction of Prince Charles as a leading character, portrayed by Josh O'Connor. Erin Doherty will take on the role of a young Princess Anne and we'll be introduced to Camilla Shand (later known as Camilla Parker-Bowles) who will be played by Emerald Fennell.
Here's how the cast of series three measures up to their real-life counterparts...
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II (Netflix/PA) Moving like a royal didn’t always come easily to Colman, who has joked that she was “terrible” at mastering the Queen’s poise - to the point that one director told her she walked like a farmer, rather than a monarch. However, she mastered the royal posture - and pronunciation - eventually for an impressive performance. Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip (Netflix) Menzies, who takes over from Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh, arguably pulls off one of the most uncanny transformations of series three, both in terms of the striking physical resemblance (kudos to The Crown’s hair department for nailing the comb over) and his mannerisms. Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret (Netflix) Bonham Carter went to great lengths to prepare for her royal role. As well as doing the usual research, reading biographies and meeting with the Princess’s friends, the actress consulted a medium so that she could commune with Margaret’s spirit (and ask for her blessing before taking on the part…) It all makes Daniel Day Lewis’ method acting seem rather pedestrian… Ben Daniels as Antony Armstrong Jones, Lord Snowdon (Netflix) Daniels, who has previously appeared in Netflix’s House of Cards and BBC period drama The Paradise, replaces Matthew Goode as Princess Margaret’s photographer husband, Lord Snowdon. After their whirlwind marriage in series two, the new episodes chart a tumultuous period in the pair’s relationship. Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles (Netflix/PA) After being played by child actors in the first two series, season three sees Prince Charles move from background extra to leading man. When his casting was announced last year, O’Connor (best known for two very different roles in God’s Own Country and ITV’s The Durrells) joked that he had “the ears for the part." Emerald Fennell as Camilla Shand (Netflix) Multi-talented Killing Eve writer Fennell appears towards the end of the series as Camilla, who is embroiled in a convoluted love square consisting of a smitten Prince Charles, Andrew Parker Bowles (the man she’d go on to marry) - and Charles’ sister Princess Anne, who also dates Parker Bowles. In her initial statement on the role, Fennell suggested that her “teenage years have well prepared me for playing a chain-smoking serial snogger with a pudding bowl haircut.” Erin Doherty as Princess Anne (Netflix/Getty Images) A relative unknown when she was cast as the Queen’s old daughter, with a single episode of Call The Midwife and a brief role in the BBC’s Les Miserables adaptation on her CV, The Crown will doubtless make Doherty a star. In order to recreate Princess Anne’s trademark ‘70s beehive, the actress had to sit in the hair and make-up chair for 90 minutes. Jason Watkins as Harold Wilson (Netflix) You’ll recognise Watkins from his prolific career in British TV, appearing in shows like W1A, Line of Duty and The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies. He plays Labour leader Wilson, who Colman’s Queen initially distrusts but quickly warms to thanks to his straight talking approach. Marion Bailey as the Queen Mother (Netflix) Bailey, who’s a mainstay of British period dramas and has also worked extensively with her director husband Mike Leigh, takes over from Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother enters old age. Derek Jacobi as the Duke of Windsor (Netflix) It's a truth universally acknowledged that Jacobi crops up in every costume drama worth watching. In series three, he picks up the reins from Alex Jennings as the Queen's estranged uncle David, the Duke of Windsor, who is now in his late seventies and in ailing health. Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten (Netflix) Much like fellow veteran actor Jacobi, it was inevitable that Morgan would cast Dance in The Crown at some point as an ageing aristocrat, and the show runner has not disappointed. Dance plays Philip's uncle Dickie in series three, replacing Greg Wise in the role. Click through the gallery at the top of the page to see what the cast of The Crown from season one, two and three look like compared to their royal counterparts. More about: | The Crown | Queen Elizabeth | The Queen | Princess Margaret | royals