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18 November 2019, 15:45 | Updated: 18 November 2019, 15:46
The third season of Netflix’s royal drama has just hit our screens, so here’s everything you need to know about its story, stellar cast and regal soundtrack.
Created by screenwriter Peter Morgan, The Crown tells the fascinating story of Queen Elizabeth II's life, from a 25-year-old newlywed who has just inherited the crown to a powerful and influential world leader.
The Netflix series gives a frank and powerful portrayal of the Queen’s ongoing trials as she takes over the ancient role of British monarch – and of her relationships with Prime Ministers over the years, including Sir Winston Churchill.
The first season documents Elizabeth’s marriage to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret’s engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend, while the second focusses on the Suez Crisis and the birth of Prince Edward.
Combining the key themes of power, privilege and politics, The Crown opens the doors of Buckingham Palace and takes audiences on a great historical journey.
Six seasons have been planned in total, with the third just released and the fourth already in production – and these are said to include intimate insights into the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The opening titles theme, written by German film composer Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, The Dark Night), sets a regal tone for the action on-screen and is a fitting introduction to Elizabeth’s lavish world at the Palace.
Zimmer’s powerful theme for The Crown opens with the sound of a haunting church organ playing a series of sustained notes, before a mighty drum crescendo leads us into a repeated tremolo figure in the strings.
With a slow tempo and steady beat of the bass drum, the theme has an almost march-like quality – while rising melodies in the strings hint at Princess Elizabeth’s gradual rise to power.
The rest of the soundtrack was written by British composer Martin Phipps, who has previously written soundtracks for Victoria, War & Peace and Black Earth Rising.
Hans Zimmer - The Crown Main Title (2016)
In season one, Wolf Hall actress and Golden Globe-winner Claire Foy stars as Princess Elizabeth and later Queen Elizabeth II, while Matt Smith (Doctor Who) plays the part of her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Also starring in the first season were English actress Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother, Jared Harris as King George VI (Mad Men; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), and BAFTA award-winning actress Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary.
In season three, Oscar-winner Olivia Colman takes over as the Queen (watch trailer above). And with Helena Bonham-Carter as Princess Margaret, they’re sure to be just as popular as previous episodes.
Season three of The Crown is now available to watch on Netflix.