It's nearly the most exciting time of the year: the release of the next series of The Crown! The last two series were released at the start of November - so it's strongly suspected that Series 3 is just around the corner. Of all the exciting new series we can expect, this is the one I'm most looking forward to.

Fans of the shown will know we are about to move into the third decade of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reign, which means the actors need to be updated to reflect the royal family's age. So who will the new cast be?

The Crown: The Queen

Claire Foy has done an amazing job as the Queen in the first two series, which covered the period from 1947 to 1964 - but the 34-year-old, from Stockport, England, would find it a real stretch to play an ageing Queen Elizabeth as she reaches her fifties.

According to Radio Times, the Emmy-award-winning actress will be replaced by Olivia Colman, who is best known for her role in ITV's hit detective series "Broadchurch". Olivia's no slouch in the awards department, with three Baftas, three BIFAs and a Golden Globe in her trophy cabinet. Olivia is expected to stay for the whole of the third and fourth series of the royal bio-series.

However much we approve of Olivia Colman as The Queen, Olivia is more pleased: When she was cast, she told reporters she was "ridiculously excited."

Her consort, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was played for the first two series by former Dr Who Matt Smith, but the 35-year-old will make way for British actor Tobias Menzies.

Menzies has a wealth of small screen experience to draw on, having appeared in "The Night Manager" and "Spooks", for the BBC, as well as roles in "Game of Thrones", "Outlander" and a regular role as Brutus in the HBO series "Rome".

Princess Margaret

The other key role - that of Princess Margaret - will be taken on by British movie and TV star, Helena Bonham Carter.

This won't be Helena's first royal role: she was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother in "The King's Speech (2010)" - and she also played The Red Queen in "Alice in Wonderland" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass". Ben Daniels - known for the TV series "The Exorcist" - will play her husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones.

Marion Bailey - who will be a familiar face to any fan of Mike Leigh's films - will play the Queen Mother.

The new decade calls for a new Prime Minister, and it has been confirmed that Jason Watkins of "Line of Duty", will play the modernising Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.

Younger Royals

The younger royals are expected to play a far greater role in the new series, reflecting their increasing public profiles in the Seventies and Eighties. Princess Anne, who during that period dated a young man called Andrew Parker Bowles (who went on to marry a woman named Camilla Shand), married the glamorous Lieutenant Mark Phillips at a televised event which was watched by over 100 million people worldwide, and escaped a bloody and violent kidnapping attempt.

She will be played by Erin Doherty, known for "Call the Midwife" and "Les Miserables".

Prince Charles played a large part in public life in the Seventies, when he was considered one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. Josh O'Connor - who played Lawrence Durrell in ITV series "The Durrells" - will be playing the young prince.

There are reports that Camilla Parker Bowles - who first met Prince Charles at a polo match in 1971 - will appear in this series and there has been speculation that Princess Diana - who first met Prince Charles in 1977 - will make an appearance.