After months—nay, years—of anticipation, Netflix dropped the first full trailer for The Crown Season 3 ahead of the show’s November 17 release date. It has everything: Corgis! Olivia Colman wearing a crown! The first footage of Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret! There’s a lot to process, but these are the main takeaways.
Queen Elizabeth is doing some soul-searching.
The trailer opens on Jubilee Day, the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the queen’s ascension to the throne. But Elizabeth (Olivia Colman, who’s taking over the role of the older queen from Claire Foy) isn’t feeling quite so celebratory: “On days like today, ask yourself, in the time I’ve been on the throne, what have I actually achieved?”
The trailer ends on a sobering note, with the queen practically barking, “We have all made sacrifices and suppressed who we are. It is not a choice. It is a duty.” It’s unclear who she’s speaking to, but it sounds like there’s a lot of heartbreak to come in the new season.
Britain’s in turmoil.
Season 3 of The Crown will depict Harold Wilson’s tenure as Prime Minister, which started in 1964. According to the trailer, it’s not going well; an unidentified voice says, “The country is bankrupt, our national security is in tatters,” as Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies) tells the queen, “If that man wins, they’ll want us out”—a hint that anti-royalist sentiment will be high in Season 3. The trailer also features scenes of uproar and protest, as yet another voice notes, “This is no longer peacetime.”
But Princess Margaret has some sound advice. When the queen tells her, “This country was still great when I came to the throne. All that’s happened on my watch is the place has fallen apart,” Margaret responds, “You cannot flinch. It’s only fallen apart if we say it has. That’s the thing about the monarchy. We paper over the cracks.”
Prince Charles will struggle with his duties.
Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) is officially a main character in the new season, which will include his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969. It won’t be easy for the future heir, though. He’s given some foreboding advice in the trailer: “Never turn your back on true love” and “watch out for your family.” When he tries to protest with, “They mean well,” his benefactor responds, “No they don’t.” Chilling.
This scene also offers our first glimpse of Emerald Fennell as the future Camilla Parker-Bowles (here, she’s just Camilla Shand).
Princess Margaret is still coping with her secondary role.
There’s not nearly enough scenes with Princess Margaret in the full trailer, but what we do see is promising: In voiceover, she says “Frustrations and resentments can build up from a life as a support act,” proof that the queen’s younger sister is still trying to determine her place within the royal family. Further footage show her battling with her husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones (Ben Daniels) and melting down at the dinner table—much to Elizabeth’s chagrin.
The Crown Season 3 premieres Sunday, November 17 on Netflix.