‘The Crown’ Season 5: Claire Foy Reprises Queen Elizabeth II Role In Surprise Cameo Appearance

Claire Foy made a surprise appearance as the young version of Queen Elizabeth II in the opening moments of 'The Crown' season 5.

Claire Foy
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If you started watching The Crown season 5, you might have thought you accidentally clicked on a season 1 episode. The season begins with a trip down memory lane to 1953 when Queen Elizabeth II attends the launching ceremony of the new royal yacht. Claire Foy reprises her role as the young monarch in this flashback scene.

The Queen announces the name of the royal yacht at the launching ceremony: Britannia. “I hope that this brand-new vessel, like your brand-new queen, will prove to be dependent and constant. Capable of weathering any storm,” Claire’s Queen Elizabeth II says in her speech. “I wish success to her. And to all who sail in her.”

Claire Foy
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in ‘The Crown.’ (Netflix)

This scene soon fades and the show returns to its timeline in the 1990s. Imelda Staunton is assuming the role of Queen Elizabeth II in her later years. She will play the Queen in the final two seasons of the show.

Claire played Queen Elizabeth II for the first two seasons of the Netflix series alongside Matt Smith’s Prince Philip. Claire won her first Emmy in 2018 for her performance as the legendary monarch.

This isn’t the first time Claire has reprised her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown’s later seasons. She appeared in the eighth episode of season 4 or a flashback scene. She won her second Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series — for her appearance.

The Crown has always recast its main roles after two seasons. Following Claire’s run as Elizabeth, Olivia Colman took over for seasons 3 and 4. Imelda will be the final actress playing the role of the monarch.

Imelda Staunton
Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in ‘The Crown.’ (Netflix)

Following Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September 2022, Claire reflected on playing the legendary leader. “I think that she was an incredible monarch,” the actress told BBC. “She united people and she was a massive symbol of continuity and dignity and grace… My main feeling is just thinking about her as a mother and a grandmother and a great-grandmother, really, and I’m very honoured to have been a teeny tiny, small part of her story.”

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