'The Crown' season three: what to expect and when it will air on Netflix

A just-released teaser has given fans a first glimpse at Olivia Colman in the lead role

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The crown is about to change heads. The third season of the hit Netflix series finally has a confirmed release date, as well as an enigmatic new trailer, as Olivia Colman prepares to take up the mantle from Claire Foy in the lead role in the royal biopic.

Ahead of The Crown's launch, here's what we know about the third installment so far.

We don't have to wait long

The third season of the show, which charts British monarch Queen Elizabeth II's long-standing reign, will hit screens on Sunday, November 17. It follows the release of season one in November 2016, and season two in December 2017, meaning fans have had to wait almost two years for more Buckingham Palace action.

A change in cast

The delay between seasons two and three was always anticipated, with new actors and actresses taking over the roles from the first pair of seasons. As part of the show's set-up, the lead roles are recast every two seasons, to best illustrate the passing of time, with The Crown charting the Queen's formative years up until the modern day.

While the first two seasons were lead by Foy in the title role, and Matt Smith as Prince Philip, The Favourite actress Colman will take over the reins (or should that be reign?) as Queen Elizabeth II for seasons three and four.

The Oscar winner will be joined by Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, as well as Helena Bonham Carter in the role of Princess Margaret and Ben Daniels as Antony Armstrong-Jones, previous played by Vanessa Kirby and Matthew Goode respectively. Josh O’Connor will also join the cast as a young Prince Charles.

Ushering in a new decade

The first two seasons were set between 1947, when the Queen and Prince Philip wed, up until 1964, when their youngest son, Prince Edward was born.

The third will continue from that year through to around 1970, a period during which Harold Wilson served as head of the British government and the British empire decolonisation nations in Africa and the Caribbean.

Menzies has previously revealed the season will include an episode on the Apollo 11 moon landing, which took place on July 20, 1969.

"[Showrunner] Peter [Morgan] has taken this angle that Philip gets very absorbed by the heroism of these men compared to what maybe he hasn't done with his own life," the actor told the Radio Times.

Producer Suzanne Mackie also told the publication that season three will also see the introduction of Camilla Parker-Bowles, portrayed by Call the Midwife star Emerald Fennell.

Season four, meanwhile, is expected to begin in the 1970s, when Margaret Thatcher started her tenure as Britain's longest-serving prime minister of the century.

Getting into character

A new teaser, released on Monday, August 12, shows Colman in full regalia for the first time. Wearing a diamond tiara and a blue sash, which represents the Royal Victorian Order of Queen Elizabeth II, the actress walks past a partially open door before pausing, and directly staring into the camera.

The 20-second clip doesn't give much away about the forthcoming season, but it does show the poise that Colman will bring to the role.