Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, is coming back for a scene in Season Four. Though Olivia Colman has taken over the role, playing an older Elizabeth as the series moves through the events of her life, Foy is returning for what seems to be a flashback sequence. According to paparazzi photos obtained by—who else—The Daily Mail, the actress was shot dressed in a version of the white dress and pearl necklace Elizabeth wore during her 21st birthday address, before she became queen.
During the speech, delivered from Cape Town during a royal tour of South Africa in 1947, Elizabeth dedicated herself to service to the British Commonwealth. She spoke while Britain was still reeling from World War II, and urged the people to see “our difficulties” as “the great opportunity for you and me.”
“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,” she said.
Earlier this month, Foy spoke on The Graham Norton Show about transitioning out of the series. "It's been a year and half ago since we finished [The Crown]," she said. "I do miss everybody, but it goes on. I hear amazing things. Olivia is loving it, I think, and is having an amazing time. I genuinely think that when it starts, people will say, 'Who was it that played it before?'"
This may be the actress's first official return to The Crown since the end of Season Two, but she did already have a small cameo. To kick off the third season, the show opened with a scene of the queen (Colman) examining two versions of her official portrait: one bearing Foy’s face, and one with her own.
"Everyone is delighted with the new profile, ma'am," says a member of the royal staff. "Which they feel to be an elegant reflection of your majesty's transition from young woman to…"
"Old bat," Elizabeth interrupts.
"A great many changes," she continues. "Nothing one can do about it. One just has to get on with it."