The Reel Review
Season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown begins with Olivia Colman bemoaning the aging process as she looks at a postage stamp of her younger Queen self (Seasons 1 and 2’s Claire Foy). And with that, the clever transition kicks off a new cast and new string of adventures based on the life of the British royal family.
The ten episodes touch on highlights of the years spanning from 1964 to 1977, among them: Princess Margaret’s successful trip to America; the 1966 coal mining disaster that killed 144 people (116 of them children) in Aberfan, Wales; Prince Charles’ 1969 investiture at Caernarfon Castle in Northern Wales, Charles and Anne’s respective romantic dalliances with Camilla and her future ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles; the death of Queen Elizabeth’s predecessor, Edward VIII; and The Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
Just as Claire Foy was exquisite in her channeling of the younger version of Queen Elizabeth, so too is Colman as the middle aged version of The Queen, Other cast members also do an admirable job, most notably Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Erin Doherty as Princess Anne. The one disappointment – Helena Bonham Carter’s Princess Margaret, which feels a bit too much Helena and not enough Margaret, especially when compared to Vanessa Kirby’s outstanding portrait of Margaret in the first two seasons. The season is chocked full of fascinating tidbits of information and glimpses inside the personalities of the Royal Family.
• Historians and eyewitnesses have disputed the show’s depiction of how The Queen behaved during her delayed visit to Aberfan after the disaster, saying she in fact DID cry.
• Helena Bonham Carter’s uncle Mark briefly dated Princess Margaret, whom she portrays in Seasons 3 and 4. Carter also played the role of the Queen Mother in 2010’s The King’s Speech.
• Claire Foy will be returning for at least one flashback scene in Season 4. The series is intended to last through six seasons.