Why The Crown's Claire Foy Is Happy To Be Leaving The Show

the crown claire foy matt smith netflix

The Crown has been a hit of a series for Netflix, bringing acclaim and awards attention to the streaming service after only its first season. Leading lady Claire Foy even took home the trophy for Best Actress in a TV Drama at the 2017 Golden Globes. As it happens, however, Claire Foy won't be leading lady on the show forever. She's leaving behind the role of the young Queen Elizabeth II after Season 2, and she's not at all upset about it. Foy shared her feelings about leaving following Season 2, saying this:

That's not a shock -- we always knew when we signed up to it, and also not to be funny but it's also a real plus. As an actor there's nothing worse than the sound of 'seven years'. I'm sure to some people it sounds amazing but to us it's like, seven years of playing the same person? And this is a tough job, you know? It's long, a good nine-monther [working on the show each year]. And that's a lot of your life that you sign over to it.

Both Claire Foy and Matt Smith will leave behind their respective roles as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the conclusion of Season 2 when The Crown jumps ahead to the future. Rather than using makeup and technology to age the actors up, The Crown is simply recasting the roles. Claire Foy revealed why she's not broken up about leaving the show behind during the BFI & Radio Times Festival (via The Independent), and it's not difficult to see her point.

On the one hand, many people might enjoy the job security of signing on for a role that could last upward of seven seasons. On the other hand, year after year of the same character can evidently be quite hard for an actor on the same show for the majority of a year. Given that Claire Foy (and Matt Smith) apparently already knew that they would be no longer needed after two seasons, their replacement by older actors wouldn't have come as bad news. The Crown was evidently a two-year gig for Foy from the very beginning.

As excellent as Claire Foy has been in the role of Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown, I'm glad that she will be stepping away after Season 2. Prosthetics and CGI can only go so far in aging a person up, and the show certainly couldn't linger in Elizabeth's earlier years as queen forever. If the show was going to cover more of her time as queen, it was going to need to go further than Claire Foy could believably perform.

Luckily, we still have plenty of time with Claire Foy before we have to say goodbye to her as Queen Elizabeth II. Season 2 of The Crown has yet to debut. It's expected to premiere on Netflix in November 2017, with Season 3 to follow in 2018.

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Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).