After much anticipation, Season Three of The Crown is now streaming on Netflix. Fans of the show were especially curious about this season as this would be the first time Claire Foy would no longer be playing the Queen, but instead, Olivia Colman would take over the role. Due to the time jump, the lead actors were recast rather than simply made-up and digitally aged to look older. Likewise, Tobias Menzies replaces Matt Smith as Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter replaces Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret. However, it has been confirmed that Claire Foy will be returning in Season 4 to reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth II, most likely in a flashback to the Queen's earlier years.
It's Hard to Say Good-Bye
When it was announced that Foy would be leaving The Crown after Season Two, fans of the show were gutted. The Crown has gained an impressive fanbase due in no small part to Foy's portrayal of the young Queen Elizabeth II. Audiences were captivated by Foy's performance as the new Queen, young, vulnerable, and forced into a role much earlier than she expected. We watched her struggle through her early years as Britain's monarch having to balance her new duties and her marriage. Foy's departure left a hole in fans' hearts, but they will be rejoicing to see her in Season 4, even if it's just for a brief scene.
No Digital Aging, No Makeup
Fans dearly hoped that Foy, Smith, and Kirby would continue their roles even as their characters aged. With the right amount of makeup, and with new technology that films have been using to age or de-age characters as necessary, it didn't seem like it would be such an impossible feat. However, executive producer Peter Morgan was convinced this would not be the proper approach.
"I feel that when we reach 1963-64 we've gone as far as we can go with Claire Foy without having to do silly things in terms of makeup to make her look older," said Morgan. "She can't help the fact she's as young as she is."
A New Queen to Rule Them All
Although Foy's departure came as a great disappointment to fans, there was a glimmer of light when her replacement was announced, Olivia Colman. Colman was just coming off of the acclaim she had received for her portrayal of another English queen, Queen Anne. The 2018 film, 'The Favourite,' was met with high praise, most notably Colman's performance, which won her an Oscar, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe. Audiences agreed that if they had to lose Claire Foy, then at least they were getting a talented actress with significant experience in playing an English royal.
Fans will learn to adjust to their new Queen, but it will be a welcome sight in Season 4 to once again see the original Queen they first fell in love with.