Olivia Colman says Queen role in The Crown was ‘most difficult thing she’s ever done

olivia colman discusses difficult crown role
(Image credit: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Olivia Colman has opened up on playing the Queen in The Crown.

The Oscar-winning actress has recently joined hit Netflix show The Crown to take on the role of Queen Elizabeth II.

And she has now opened up on how she felt playing the iconic role, revealing that she found it extremely difficult playing the monarch and even had to copy her predecessor Claire Foy.

Olivia, 45, will be joining the award-winning programme in its third series, which wil be airing on 17th November, after 35-year-old Claire played the monarch for the show’s first and second seasons.

olivia colman discusses difficult crown role

‘She did the most exquisite job,’ said the BAFTA winner of her predecessor.

The Favourite star even revealed how she took inspiration from Claire, telling The Mirror: ‘For the first couple of weeks I copied everything she did and I tried to imagine how she’d do it, because I was such a fan.’

She also revealed that Claire, who has won a stream of awards for her role in The Crown, was ‘incredibly encouraging’ when handing over to Olivia, opening up on how challenging it was to play the role.

More: Olivia Colman reveals the big difference in her portrayal of the Queen on The Crown

‘It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done,’ said Olivia, ‘because everyone knows the Queen’s voice and knows what she looks like.’

A photo posted by on

She also spoke about the inspiration for her character, adding: ‘It’s not a job I’d want, but I think the Queen certainly is a solid rock for us all. If you’re going to tell a story about a human being, she is the most extraordinary.’

More: Palace forced to deny this HUGE rumour about The Crown

Fans went wild last week when a new teaser was released for the highly-anticipated third series.

Viewers were able to get their first peek of Olivia as the monarch, as the show dealt effectively with the transfer of actress.

The teaser sees Queen Elizabeth looking at the updated version of the British postage stamp, which shows the her own side profile.

The two stamps side by side show the profile of both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, signifying how the monarch has aged between seasons during the time-jump.

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

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