‘The Crown’ Season 3 Update: Paul Bettany Will Not Play Queen Elizabeth’s Husband, Prince Philip

Frederick M. BrownGetty Images

The Crown Season 3 will entirely replace the original cast members. The new season will introduce a slew of new actors to play older versions of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and other royal family members who appeared in the first two seasons. Olivia Colman is set to replace Claire Foy, who played the young Elizabeth for two seasons, as Her Royal Majesty for The Crown Season 3 and Season 4. And Paul Bettany was in talks to play an older Prince Philip but according to the latest reports, he has decided not to take over the role from Matt Smith, who played Queen Elizabeth’s husband in Season 1 and Season 2 of the series

Earlier last week, reports surfaced that Paul Bettany was “near a deal” to play Queen Elizabeth’s husband. Hollywood Reporter (THR) now reports that the hunt for new Prince Philip continues as the 46-year-old actor has withdrawn from the talks because of a scheduling conflict.

Along with Prince Philip, it is yet to be determined who will play Queen Mother, played by Victoria Hamilton in first two seasons, and Princess Margaret’s husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, originally played by Matthew Goode. Helena Bonham Carter will portray Princess Margaret in the upcoming two seasons of the series. She replaces Vanessa Kirby.

Show creator Peter Morgan has always expressed his intention to replace the main cast members of The Crown after every two seasons to portray the characters as they advance in age.

Ahead of the premiere of The Crown Season 1 in November of 2016, Peter Morgan told Variety, “You can’t ask someone to act middle-aged. Someone has to bring their own fatigue to it. The feelings we all have as 50-year-olds are different than the feelings we all have as 30-year-olds. That informs everything we do.”

Meanwhile, The Crown Season 3 is confirmed to introduce Prince Charles’ current wife Camilla Parker Bowles, and toward the end of The Crown Season 3, the late Princess Diana will make an appearance as well. Princess Diana will reportedly become the main character in Season 4. It has yet to be revealed who will play the roles of Camilla Parker Bowles and Princess Diana.

The Crown Season 3 will reportedly focus on “the Wilson era,” the terms of Howard Wilson as Prime Minister (1964-1970 and 1974-1976). And Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher will be the focus of Season 4, according to THR. Moreover, the upcoming season is expected to deal with the breakdown of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones’ marriage. They separated in 1976 and got divorced in 1978. Season 2 of the series explored the couple’s relationship, and Episode 7 showed their wedding.

The Crown Season 3 is likely to air in 2019.