Fans of the Netflix series The Crown are anxiously awaiting the premiere of season three on November 17.
Olivia Colman is taking over as the show’s main lady, Queen Elizabeth.
Olivia is an incredibly talented actress and truly a national treasure for Britain, so now that she’s taking on playing England’s most famous monarch, it makes sense that she was bound to run into a royal or two at some point, right? One such meeting took place recently at a dinner, when the actress found herself chatting with none other than the Queen’s oldest grandson, Prince William.
Naturally, the show came up. While speaking on The Graham Norton Show about the meeting, Olivia shared, “It didn’t go very well. I met Prince William at dinner, and he asked what I was doing at the moment before he quickly added, ‘Actually, I know what you’re doing.’ I was so excited and asked, ‘Have you watched it?’ His answer was a firm, ‘No.’ But he was very charming and very lovely.”
While William might not watch the show, someone else in the castle is tuning in — QEII herself! Vanessa Kirby, who played Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of the show, reportedly told Graham Norton, “A friend of mine was at a party where he didn’t know anyone, so [he] sidled up to a group who were discussing the show. One of the women said, ‘My granny kind of likes it.'”
Vanessa continued, “It turns out, it was one of the princesses – The Queen’s granddaughter. It’s quite a reliable source-ish — so I’m sure she’s a fan.”
Back in 2016, ET asked Claire Foy if she thought anyone in the royal family might reach out with their reactions to the show. Claire, who played Queen Elizabeth in seasons one and two, replied, “I think they’re much too reserved and ‘keep calm and carry on’ about things. No, absolutely no kind of contact at all. I’m not, in any way, expecting anything. I’d probably have some sort of an existential crisis if she ever [reached out]. It’d be a little weird!”
In fact, so far the Queen has let her opinion be known on only one scene from the first two seasons. She was reportedly quite upset with a scene in season two when Prince Philip is depicted bullying his son, Charles. According to Marie Claire, a courtier made it known that “she was upset by the way Prince Philip is depicted as being a father insensitive to his son’s wellbeing. She was particularly annoyed at a scene in which Philip has no sympathy for a plainly upset Charles while he is flying him home from Scotland. That simply did not happen.”
There are royals who do love the show. Prince Edward and his wife Sophie are reportedly big fans and allegedly have previously made time to “drive to Windsor at the weekend to join the Queen for an informal supper while watching TV or a film” during which they suggested the three watch the show together, according to the Sunday Express.
While his son might be tuning in, Prince Philip is one royal who is decidedly not, according to the Guardian. Matt Smith, who played Philip in seasons one and two, shared a story about Philip’s reaction when a friend of his was seated next to the Duke of Edinburgh at dinner. “What do you do?’ the Prince reportedly asked. ‘Are you involved in this… Crown thing?”
Matt’s friend kept the conversation going later in the evening, when he asked, “Philip, I’m just wondering, because I have some friends who made The Crown, have you watched any?” Apparently Philip “glowered” and replied, “Don’t. Be. Ridiculous.”
While Olivia’s costar Helena Bonham Carter went all in while preparing to take over the role of Princess Margaret, Olivia didn’t make similar preparations. She shared with Graham Norton, “I did nothing, though I did have a movement coach, but still I walked like me, or rather like a farmer.”
Helena, appearing alongside Olivia on the talk show, had a reply ready, noting that, “I do everything to prepare and Olivia does nothing, and she ends up being completely brilliant.” Helena also noted that she “met” with Margaret, who told her, per ET, “You’ll be better than the other one.”
Regardless of how the actual Crown feels about the show, the third season is receiving decent reviews, given its source material. Vanity Fair writes, “Colman’s Elizabeth is a little disappointing, because the queen is a little disappointing. Foy dazzled; Colman trembles. Her performance is characterized by repressed, powerful resentment against her role—a quivering frustration held just beneath the surface, somewhere beneath that helmet of sculpted hair. It seems to stop her voice and still her empathy. The moments in the season where she is the most compelling, as a character, are the moments in which she does the opposite—when she briefly, quietly, expresses doubt or inadequacy, when she longs for a more normal life.”