Royals on the red carpet!
Claire Foy and Matt Smith, who play the monarch and her husband on the hit Netflix show, were the leading guests as the show received its world premiere in London. Vanessa Kirby, who plays the Queen’s sultry sister Princess Margaret, also walked the red carpet.
“We had a wonderful time — we’re into the ’60s and there are some interesting storylines,” Smith told reporters. “You think you know the story, but you actually don’t know the story.”
“Season two is a difficult watch on some level because it touches on some difficult scenes for the family,” he continued. “We’ve got the ’60s, we’ve got Princess Margaret on a motorbike, some troubles in their marriage — which they’re trying to get through — we’ve got a young Prince Philip and we learn about his story in his youth, which is compelling.”
Ben Miles, who plays Peter Townsend, also shared some insight into how Margaret’s doomed love affair with Townsend will play out. In season two, his character, who was stopped from marrying Princess Margaret because he was a divorcee, “begins to dust himself off, as one does.
“Whether he was better off in the long run, I don’t know, you’ll have to decide for yourself. It touches on his life after Margaret,” he tells PEOPLE, adding that Margaret gets married to photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones this season.
“It’s the beginning of the great party for Margaret,” he said. “She moves on. I think you begin to see the Margaret that is more known publicly.”
Philip Martin, who directed the first three parts of season two, tells PEOPLE: “The first season was a fairy story and the king died and the queen was crowned. A young couple were in a post-war honeymoon in some ways.
“In the second season life takes over. She loses her Prime Minister — Winston Churchill. She has a new Prime Minister, perhaps an inexperienced one, she enters a war, the ’60s start to happen, social change happens really fast and so life comes at the fairy tale. It’s a complete energy change. The ’50s are turned on their head and People question whether we need a royal family.”
Creator Peter Morgan tells PEOPLE of the Queen’s reign: “It’s a level of duty and commitment to a job. Most people’s career span is 20 years. This extraordinary woman is a great example.”
And just one day after the real-life royal couple celebrated their 70th anniversary, Morgan adds: “She has always been nuts about him. She was nuts about him from the moment she met him and I think that shows.”
It was a farewell from the regal pair, who have helped illuminate the early years of the couple’s marriage and Elizabeth’s reign. Their roles on the show are coming to an end, as all the leading actors are being replaced for older actors for the filming of the next two seasons.
Olivia Colman has been announced to replacing Foy as Queen, with other main roles have yet to be revealed by producers.
Kicking off with a crisis surrounding a war in Egypt and taking on Philip’s tour of the Commonwealth — which led to strains in his marriage to Elizabeth — season two also introduces the revolutionary era of the early ’60s.
Season two premieres December 8 on Netflix.