First episode of 'The Crown' S3 will be free to watch without a Netflix subscription

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Olivia Colman as Her Madge in the The Crown S3. (Netflix)

Olivia Colman's debut as the Queen in Netflix's drama series The Crown will be made free to watch by the streaming giant.

For around a month, viewers in the UK and Ireland will be able to stream the first episode of the third series online, even if they do not have a Netflix membership.

The episode will be available from 17 November until 15 December on the Netflix website.

Oscar-winner Colman is taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Claire Foy as the royal drama makes a jump forward in time. Season 2, released December 2017, ended in 1963 and the new season will pick up a year later in 1964

A spokesperson for Netflix said: "The Crown has become a globally renowned British success story since it first launched on Netflix three years ago.

"We want to give as many people as possible a flavour of the great content Netflix is creating here in the UK, by offering the first instalment of the new series without signing up.

"Until December 15, anyone can watch episode one simply by visiting netflix.com/thecrown."

Read more: Helena Bonham Carter reveals royal sleepover

Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies also star in the new series.

The Crown was the first global Netflix original show to be produced and filmed in the UK. Netflix has since worked on more than 40 other UK productions.

The company recently confirmed that it will be spending £400 million on new British-based TV and movie projects this year.

First look at Olivia Colman as the Queen in new series of 'The Crown'

In September Reed Hastings, the streaming platform's chief executive, told the Royal Television Society conference that the UK is second only to the US in terms of its production budget, according to The Guardian.

Netflix announced over the summer that it had also struck a 10-year deal to take over almost all of the famous Shepperton Studios, including its 14 sound stages, from next month.

It will make 50 more UK films and TV series over the next year.