Out with the old, in with the new! Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter and more famous faces step in as members of the royal family during season 3 of The Crown, replacing Claire Foy and other actors who originated the roles.
Colman, 45, takes over as Queen Elizabeth II as the monarch shifts into a later stage of life: 1964 to 1977. Foy, 35, won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for her interpretation of the royal from 1947 to 1963.
The Oscar winner, who is set to portray the queen for seasons 3 and 4, revealed in November 2017 that the First Man actress offered her support after learning who her successor would be. “She said I’ll have a lovely time, everyone on it is amazing; the voice coaching is impeccable,” Colman told Radio Times. “They were all amazing, so I’m just full of fear because you don’t want to be the one who screws it up. She’s lovely and she said I can call her anytime.”
Series creator Peter Morgan explained the idea to age his cast along with the characters. “I think that when you get to middle age, you might be able to replicate wigs or even wrinkles. But you can’t replicate life experience,” he told CBS News earlier this month. “And life experience takes its toll, on our faces, the way we hold our shoulders.”
Morgan expects the audience to adapt to the shift rather quickly. “I think it might take you three minutes, and then you make that transition,” he noted.
The original cast knew what they were in for too. “That’s not a shock,” Foy clarified in 2017. “We always knew when we signed up to it.”
In fact, some of the series’ stars back the notion wholeheartedly. “I think it’s a good thing for the show, though — for the longevity of the show,” Matt Smith, who portrayed Prince Philip during the first two seasons, told CBC News in 2017. “If this show is to work in the way that I think it could, changing the actors every two years is a really clever idea.”
Scroll through to see who is playing whom.
Season 3 of The Crown is now streaming on Netflix.