Claire Foy hasn't hung up her tiara for good.
The actress, who played Queen Elizabeth II in seasons one and two of The Crown, surprised viewers with a cameo for the fifth season's premiere. Her return to the royal role—her second since wrapping her run as the long-reigning monarch in 2017—in a flashback scene caused quite a bit of fanfare on social media.
One fan wrote on Twitter, "#TheCrown season 5: *opens with Claire Foy's Queen Elizabeth* me, out loud, to my computer: I MISS YOU!!!!!!" Another chimed in, "Claire Foy popping up in season 5 of The Crown makes me so happy."
However, this was all news to Claire, who told E! News at the Chanel x Academy Luncheon Nov. 16, "I didn't know there was a reaction."
Nonetheless, Claire made it clear that she was happy to once more participate in Peter Morgan's Netflix drama. "I'm just really proud," she said. "I'm really proud to have been part of the show ever so, yeah, it's a great thing."
Claire's support of The Crown follows some criticism the show has faced in recent months. For instance, Dame Judi Dench called the series "cruelly unjust" ahead of its Nov. 9 return. Specifically, the Belfast actress took issue with the show's depiction of Dominic West's Prince Charles plotting to get his monarch mother to abdicate.
"Given some of the wounding suggestions apparently contained in the new series—that King Charles plotted for his mother to abdicate, for example, or once suggested his mother's parenting was so deficient that she might have deserved a jail sentence," Judi wrote in a letter published by The Times Oct. 19, "this is both cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent."
Judi, who is a friend of Queen Consort Camilla, continued, "The closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely it seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism."
She also alleged that the series spread "an inaccurate and hurtful account of history" and called for a disclaimer to be added ahead of each episode.
Jonathan Pryce, who stars as Prince Philip in season five—and its forthcoming sixth and final season—defended the show's storytelling, noting exclusively to E! News, "It's really underestimating your audience to think that they don't know it's a drama."
He added, "Some of the words that are used is that the series is ‘damaging and hurtful.' I found it personally damaging and hurtful because it was questioning my integrity and my belief in this series. I do believe in it, and I do believe in the honesty of it."
Season five of The Crown is available to stream on Netflix.
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