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Crown Season 3: What to Know Before Sunday's Premiere

The 10-episode program, set between 1964 and 1977, will show the tension inside Buckingham Palace and deal with the unrest outside, will introduce many viewers to a changing period in British history.

Tragically, Netflix did not submit a reading list before the premiere. But fear not – here's a history lesson that will guide you through the third season of the blockbuster.

During the first two seasons of The Crown, premieres Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan stood out in prominence. In the last episode, McMillan stepped down and was replaced by Alec Douglas-Home, but season three will begin with the election of a new leader: Harold Wilson.

Wilson, a moderate socialist, won the general election in 1

964, which introduced the first Labor government in 13 years – it was immediately forced to deal with the currency crisis. He will later embark on a bold series of internal reforms in education, housing, health and pensions, while opposing more radical calls from some of his party's left.

  Harold Wilson lit his pipe at the Labor Party conference in 1966.

Known for his almost constant smoking of the pipe and skill, Wilson is one of the most recognizable politicians in British history – he provides a lot of fodder for Jason Watkins, a newcomer to the cast.

He also witnesses a dramatic change in British society that is likely to be reflected in the show. The country's move to the so-called "permitting society" was aided by the liberalization of homosexuality, abortion, divorce and censorship laws, which Wilson endorsed.

Wilson led much of the destruction of the British Empire and escaped the country from the Vietnam War, but he lost his vigor for his policy agenda and stunned the country, retiring in 1976. By then, he had won four of five general elections, briefly loses power to Conservative leader Edward Heath. A series of conspiracy theories and rumors followed his shock announcement – and one can only wonder how the queen should have reacted.

What's going on in the UK?

Where do we start? The series began in the mid-1960s, when Britain enjoyed a significant role on the world cultural stage and the Swinging Sixties gained steam. The Beatles led the British invasion of musical acts making their way across the Atlantic, fashions and mini-shirts were all the rage, and the mood in the country – at least for those who were excited by the excitement – was high. [19659002] Feeling even more so when England won the World Cup in 1966, and the moon, which landed three years later, the focus of an episode on the new season, made captive global audiences believe that anything was possible.

  The Queen awards the Bob Julia Jules Rome Trophy after England won the 1966 World Cup Finals.
And through the Irish Sea, problems – period of lasting sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, which claimed the lives of thousands – escalated in the early 1970s, culminating in the so-called Bloody Sunday Incident of 1972.

Against this backdrop, the new season will also cover one – incidents, including the Aberfan crash, in which the collapse of a collapsed peak in a Wales mine settlement takes the lives of more than 100 children; the death and funeral of Winston Churchill; and Prince Charles's investment as Prince of Wales, which is targeted by Welsh nationalists.

What about the royal family?

The tension on British streets can be contrasted inside the walls of Buckingham Palace, providing writers of the Crown with a number of juicy paths to explore.

Princess Margaret's marriage to photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones is an important part of the show's second season, but that relationship turns stony in the new season, when Princess Helena Bonham-Carter embarks on an eight-year affair with Baronet and gardener Roddy Levelin.

After pictures of a couple floating in the Caribbean hit the British tabloids, their relationship has become a much-publicized challenge for the royal family. Eventually Margaret's marriage to Armstrong-Jones fell apart, the couple divorced in 1978.

The queen herself saw their empire collapse and the colonies gained independence during the series before Britain voted to join the European Community in 1975

Elizabeth II remained a popular figure during the covered period and celebrated her silver anniversary in 1977.

  Street party during the Queen's silver anniversary of 1977.

Elsewhere, her son and heir, Charles, officially become Prince of Wales – this season will chart his course at adulthood, beginning when he was

And an agonizing cast list excited fans earlier this year, revealing that the latest proposal will feature both of Charles's future wives – Diana Spencer and Camila Shand. They will be more prominent in the fourth season.

What about the rest of the world?

Season 3 also takes place in the midst of the Cold War, affecting several of the events covered.

The landing of the moon Apollo 11 – the pivotal moment in the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union – is featured in the seventh episode of Moondust, in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin will make their debut.

At the time, Elizabeth II praised the astronauts in a statement, saying: "On behalf of the British people, I congratulate the skills and courage that brought man to the moon. May this endeavor increase the knowledge and well-being of humanity. "

  Buzz Aldrin on the moon.
But this message did not come without resistance, it was later revealed. Earlier this year, documents published by the National Archives showed that the Queen considers NASA's message of goodwill a "trick." The palace added that "it's not something like [the Queen] very happy to do, but he certainly won't want to look cheerful by refusing an invitation, which is obviously so well-intentioned. "

Elizabeth II nevertheless met Armstrong and Aldrin at Buckingham Palace About two months later, during the Global Goodwill Tour, the couple took over upon returning to Earth.

According to Aldrin, Michael Collins – another astronaut on the mission, "almost fell down the stairs" during

An episode related to the Cold War will focus on exposing Queen Anne Blount's advisor to the Soviet spy.

Blount, who works as an art advisor to Her Majesty, admits in 1964 that she is a member of the spy circle of Cambridge Five, which operates about two in the UK for decades.

His confession remained hidden from the public until 1979, when it was revealed by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Do I even need to watch The Crown now?

Yes – as detailed as our history lesson was, it's still worth watching Olivia Coleman and the rest of the blockbuster deal with this tumultuous period.

The Crown lands on Netflix worldwide on Sunday. [19659050]
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