It’s the Netflix show we all loved last year – The Crown. The 10-episode royal drama explored the early days of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, portrayed by Claire Foy, and the beginnings of her marriage with Prince Philip, played by former Doctor Who Matt Smith. And the popular show was a critical success too, winning two Golden Globes and two SAG awards at the beginning of this year.
The first season ended excitingly, with the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret’s engagement to Peter Townsend in 1955 – and we’ve been desperate for a second season since.
We know that that the seasons will play out in chronological order, charting the Queen’s reign as she grows up. So what awaits us in the The Crown on Netflix season 2?
Well, we finally have a release date! The second series will premiere on Netflix on 8th December, so we’ll be able to see it before the year is out – hooray!
So here’s what to expect when the second season airs…
1. The season will cover Philip’s alleged affairs
Prince Philip was controversially linked to various women in the 1950s and 60s, although an affair was never confirmed.
And according to a brand new trailer(!), the second season of The Crown will centre largely on the destructive force of the rumours, and how Queen Elizabeth II strove to keep the monarchy stable as her marriage crumbled.
In the trailer, one person warns Queen Elizabeth, “You married a wild spirit, there is no use trying to tame him”. And as the preview progresses, we get a glimpse into how the relentless rumours pushed Elizabeth to the brink.
Elizabeth then warns Prince Philip, “One more scandal, one more national embarrassment, and it’ll all be over.”
The trailer also shows the fragile state of the institution in a post-war world too, as Queen Elizabeth II watches behind the scenes as one man declares, “Britain has changed beyond recognition. Yet the monarchy continues its pre-war routines as if nothing has happened.”
The trailer also shows some of the historically alleged tension over Prince Philip’s place in the monarchy. As the couple jet off to foreign lands, it becomes clear that tension is simmering beneath the surface, with Philip seen exclaiming, “Right now, I am currently outranked by my eight-year-old son!”
We forsee plenty of drama ahead…!
2. It will be Claire Foy and Matt Smith’s last season
Morgan also made reference to the sad fact that this will be Claire Foy
and Matt Smith’s final season with the show, as the producers had always
intended to recast Elizabeth and Philip, in order to more accurately
portray the couple ageing. He said of the new season that, “It takes
Claire Foy and Matt Smith to the outer edge of where we can take them,
with their ages.”
And Claire Foy herself has finally spoken out about
the fact that she will be recast in the next season. Speaking to the
Hollywood Reporter, she admitted that she understands it’s a role that’s
always being regenerated.
She said, “Someone else will take on this amazing role and I’m not the first person to play that part.
have taken that role from other people who’ve played it before. So it’s
in the nature of the role that it will keep reincarnating and that that
story will be told.
3. And Olivia Colman will be replacing Claire!
It was recently announced that former Broadchurch actress Olivia Colman would be taking on the role of the Queen after season two.
Speaking about her new role, “I’m so thrilled to be part of The Crown. I was utterly gripped watching it.”
“I think Claire Foy is an absolute genius – she’s an incredibly hard act to follow. I’m basically going to re-watch every episode and copy her.”
However, Claire will be playing the Queen for the entirety of the second season – so we won’t see Olivia in the role until 2019.
4. Prince Charles’ early upbringing will be a focus
Morgan said in an interview last year with People
that viewers can expect to get glimpses of Charles’ childhood and
upbringing, emphasizing his relationship with his father. Executive
Producer Suzanne Mackie also said that the season will cover how Philip’s
interesting upbringing “might have impacted him as a man, a father and
as Prince Consort.” Given the recent controversy over his treatment of Princess Diana, we’re sure this will be an interesting insight…
5. It will take place between 1956 and 1964
Peter Morgan has also told reporters that the new season “continues exactly where we left off”. Rumours abound that the season will start with Britain’s involvement in the Suez Crisis and hit a high point with the resignation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.
6. It may also cover the Queen’s third and fourth pregnancies
Although the second season is outside of the time frame to cover Prince Charles’ birth (he was born in 1948) and Princess Anne (born in 1950), it could well delve into her pregnancies with her two younger sons, Princes Andrew and Edward, who were born in 1959 and 1963 respectively.
7. It’ll be filled with both familiar faces and new characters
Most of the main cast including Foy, Smith, Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, and Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother, will be returning for the new season. A notable absence is John Lithgow, who received acclaim for his portrayal of Winston Churchill last season. Churchill retired as Prime Minister at the end of season one, but Jeremy Northam will reprise his role as Anthony Eden, his predecessor.
New faces include Michael C. Hall of Dexter fame who will be portraying President John F. Kennedy along with Jodi Balfour, who’ll be playing Jacqueline Kennedy.
Matthew Goode has also been cast as Antony Armstrong-Jones, the photographer who eventually marries Princess Maragret. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kirby hinted that Margaret’s “exciting, dangerous, volatile, dysfunctional relationship” with Armstrong-Jones will be another significant plotline of the season. It’ll include her 1960 marriage and the births of her two children, David and Sarah, in 1961 and 1964.
8. It could lead to a third season
Although a third season of the drama hasn’t yet been confirmed, the creator is hopeful that it could go ahead. Peter has admitted, “We’re talking to Netflix all the time, but we just want to see how the second series goes. I’ve started thinking about a third season.” But he admitted that he didn’t want to make any promises to the show’s passionate fans, saying, “You have to be responsible, you can’t say you’ll do it and then suddenly go, ‘actually I found out it’s really dull’.” But, he said he is prepared if it happens, saying “I have done some preparatory work, I’d be happy to do it.”
9. We won’t see Princess Diana – yet.
The show plans to tell Queen Elizabeth’s story in six seasons total, and since it premiered, fans have wondered if, and how, the late Princess of Wales would be incorproated into the storyline. But Peter confirmed to People that the producers DO plan to introduce Diana at the end of season three, and that she’ll be featured more prominently in seasons four and five. There will also be another jump in time in between seasons four and five, meaning the cast will likely be replaced yet again after the fourth season.
The Crown season 2 will be released on Netflix on 8th December.