While Olivia Colman portrays the Queen throughout season four, which covers Margaret Thatcher’s time as prime minister in the 1980s, Foy returns for the opening scene of episode eight, in which then-princess Elizabeth gives a speech on her 21st birthday from Cape Town, dedicating her life to the service of the Commonwealth.
The episode, titled 48:1, documents the tension between the monarch and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher over their opinions on applying economic sanctions in South Africa to discourage Apartheid, with Queen Elizabeth II trying to persuade Thatcher to join other Commonwealth countries in support of the measures.
At the beginning of the episode, viewers watch Claire Foy recreate the Queen’s 1947 birthday speech, in which she declares that her “whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to [the commonwealth’s] service”, cut together with shots of a 21-year-old Margaret Thatcher (Eva Feiler) at Oxford University.
Foy originated the role of Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown’s first two seasons from 2016 to 2017, winning a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her performances.
She portrayed the reigning monarch between the years of 1947 and 1964, before Olivia Colman took over the role to play Queen Elizabeth II between the ages of 38 and 64 in seasons three and four.
The Crown creator Peter Morgan has recently revealed he’s considering ways to bring back Colman for a similar cameo in the show’s fifth season, which will see Imelda Staunton take up the role of the Queen.
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