But if Elizabeth II did watch, there’s the perfect British TV show that would let us watch her do it.
Like the no-nonsense monarch she plays on The Crown, Claire Foy has a finely tuned B.S. radar. And the actress doesn’t believe recent news reports that Queen Elizabeth has spent Saturday nights at Windsor Castle bingeing Foy’s Netflix show about her early days as Queen. Foy recently spoke with Vanity Fair about what to expect from The Crown’s anticipated second season (“sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”), whether she believes the Queen is a feminist, and what she thinks of another complex heroine she’s rumored to be circling, Lisbeth Salander.
Vanity Fair: We are talking in a space that Netflix has built that houses props and costumes from many of its shows, including some from The Crown, like the giant crown you wear in the coronation episode. What did it feel like wearing it on your head?
Claire Foy: When I wore it in the coronation there was a lot of other stuff going on as well. The dress was also ginormous, and I had loads of scepters, and an orb, and a giant cape . . . and I was wearing platform shoes, and so it was all a bit too much, to be honest. I just sort of thought, “I’m walking straight ahead, and I’m not going to stop.” Then luckily it didn’t plop off my head . . . I always feel more like [Queen Elizabeth] when I’ve got the wellies on, and the tartan skirts, and the headscarves, because that, to me, is who she really is. When she’s got the big gowns on and stuff, I think she’s probably quite uncomfortable in them, and I am, so it sort of makes a lot of sense, really.
You’re playing someone who has basically made it her job to keep her feelings to herself. How do you find an interior life for this person? It’s not like you have her diaries, it’s not like she did some big Oprah confessional.
Imagine if she did . . . There’s always people wanting something from her. She never meets anyone and it’s just a non-transactional relationship. Someone always wants something out of that meeting, or that audience, or whatever it is. I think she’s constantly trying to gauge what her input could be and how it could be useful, and how she can alter what she says in order to remain impartial . . . I’ve always felt that she’s a very thinking character, I suppose.
The Queen has apparently watched all 10 episodes, according to a royal source.
What royal source?
Well, it was in the British press, which is never wrong, as you know.
I can’t believe, I hadn’t heard anything about it, and I will believe it when I see it is all I’ll say.