Claire Foy is making a surprise comeback to The Crown for season 4

The actress who played Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons has been pictured back on set

Claire Foy in The Crown

Viewers of The Crown should be primed for a right royal return: new set photos have confirmed that the acclaimed Netflix series will bring back Claire Foy in the role of Queen Elizabeth II for its fourth season.

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Foy played the monarch for the first two seasons of The Crown, which covered her life from 1947 up until the mid-1960s, before relinquishing the role to Olivia Colman, the Oscar-winning star of The Favourite.

The Crown
The Crown

There had been no official confirmation that Foy was due to return, although photos taken from the set of The Crown’s upcoming season show the actress back in costume as the Queen.

The scene she was pictured filming is believed to be a flashback sequence, with the photos depicting a recreation of the Queen’s 21st Birthday Speech, an address she delivered in 1947 while on a tour of Colonial Africa.

Season four of The Crown will focus on the life of Elizabeth during Margaret Thatcher’s divisive spell as Prime Minister of Great Britain. Gillian Anderson (star of The X Files and, more recently, Netflix’s teen drama Sex Education) has been cast to play Thatcher, while most of the rest of the season three cast will return.

Claire Foy in The Crown season 2 (Netflix, JG)
Claire Foy in The Crown season 2 (Netflix, JG)

Since leaving the series, Foy has certainly kept busy, appearing alongside Ryan Gosling in First Man, playing a punk-styled techno-criminal Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, and a psych ward patient in Steven Soderbergh’s indie thriller Unsane. This year, she reunited with her Crown co-star Matt Smith for a stage play called Lungs at the Old Vic.

Speculation is also rife regarding the future of The Crown, with Imelda Staunton rumoured to have been cast to portray the monarch as she enters old age.

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Netflix have not confirmed a date for the next season of The Crown, but it is expected to be released towards the end of 2020.