Claire Foy is stepping back into Queen Elizabeth's sensible block-heeled shoes. The actress, who played the British monarch to much critical acclaim in seasons one and two of The Crown, was photographed on November 20 filming what appears to be a flashback scene for the show's upcoming fourth season.
While Foy was pictured in several photographs in season three, this will be her first appearance in the series since the Olivia Colman took over the role of Queen Elizabeth.
Showrunner Peter Morgan famously recast the show at the start of the third season, as his character were aging more quickly than the actors. "I feel that when we reach 1963-64 we've gone as far as we can go with Claire Foy without having to do silly things in terms of makeup to make her look older," Morgan said. "She can't help the fact she's as young as she is."
But Foy's return to the Netflix drama shouldn't come as a total surprise. Morgan's dramatization of Queen Elizabeth's reign has never been strictly chronological; he loves a flashback to provide historical context for the plot.
In season three, for example, we see a young Elizabeth and Margaret discussing what their specific roles mean within the royal family. Elizabeth, as heir presumptive, will go on to be Queen, while Margaret's less-defined position as the King's second daughter affects her throughout her life.
Similarly, season two featured the return of Jared Harris as King George VI in a flashback which illuminates the Duke of Windsor's relationship with Nazi Germany.
Foy's appearance here is in a flashback to Princess Elizabeth's 21st birthday, on which she gave a speech in Cape Town. Her address was then broadcast, and featured the famous line:
"I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
At this point, it's unclear how this flashback ties in to the larger plot of the fourth season, or whether we'll also see Matt Smith reprise his role as Prince Philip, but it could be a little while before we find out as a premiere date has yet to be set for The Crown season four. In the meantime, season three just dropped in its entirety on Netflix.
Watch the trailer for season three:
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