It’s been a long wait for the new season of Netflix’s hit series The Crown (see our review), which chronicles the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy). The series was an almost instant hit and netted Foy a Golden Globe along with 13 Emmy nominations.

While the first season tells the story of Elizabeth’s rise to power and shows her finding her footing, the new season takes place in the years between 1956 to 1964, a time of great political turmoil and change. Here’s The Crown season 2 synopsis:

Beginning with soldiers in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces fighting an illegal war in Egypt, and ending with the downfall of her third Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan after a devastating scandal, the second season bears witness to the end of the age of deference, and ushers in the revolutionary era of the 1960s.

When asked how her character deals with a new era, Foy told Entertainment Weekly:

“I think [Queen Elizabeth] starts to realise she needs to pay more attention to her personal life now that the other part of her life is going all right…The world’s changing faster than anyone can catch up with. There is no letup. She just keeps having to go from one crisis to another to another, and at some point, it’s about five crises at the same time and you have no idea how she manages to get up in the morning.” 

All this is reflected in the trailer, which is full of tension as rumours start to swirl about Prince Philip’s (Matt Smith) philandering ways and Princess Margaret’s (Vanessa Kirby, who’s joined the Mission: Impossible franchise) love affair with a non-royal. Season 2 will also see the addition of Michael C. Hall as US President John F. Kennedy and Matthew Goode as high society photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones, Margaret’s paramour.

Foy and Smith will play Elizabeth and Philip for only one more season before the roles are recast with older actors, so enjoy their onscreen chemistry while you still can. In the meantime, have a look at more images from The Crown season 2, courtesy of Netflix.

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The Crown season 2 premieres globally on Netflix on December 8.