Imelda Staunton says late Queen 'wasn't worried about how she looked'

The Crown’s Imelda Staunton says the late Queen ‘wasn’t worried about how she looked’ – as actress praises the monarch for giving ‘people such a feeling of importance’

  • The first four episodes of The Crown’s sixth series are released on November 16 
  • READ MORE: Queen Letizia and King Felipe of Spain arrive in Denmark for a three-day state visit and are greeted with a deep curtsy from Princess Mary

The sixth and final series of Netflix’s The Crown will drop on November 16. 

Ahead of the release, Imelda Staunton, who portrays Queen Elizabeth II in the hit royal drama, has said the late monarch ‘gave people such a feeling of importance’ throughout her reign.

‘She wasn’t worried about “What do I look like? What do I do?” She’d go, hat, coat, bag, gone. Talk to them, talk to them and be gracious and have something to say. And that was her job,’ explained Ms Staunton. 

The British actress, 67, will be reprising her role as the late Queen Elizabeth, which previously earned her a nomination for a Golden Globe Award.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the sixth series next week, Ms Staunton said: ‘For the Royal Family and for the Queen, I hope she knows how good she was at her job, and she probably knew the effect she had, because she’d seen her father and her mother have that effect, so you’ve seen it all your life. 

Imelda Staunton (pictured), who portrays Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, has said the late monarch ‘gave people such a feeling of importance’ throughout her reign

‘I don’t think she was in any way interested in how she came across, how she looked. What she wanted to do was the job, which was making people feel that it’s an extremely important day for them, for this building, for this whatever she was doing, that she was there and gave people such a feeling of importance and that she cared enough to do it.’

Elsewhere, Dominic West – who plays Prince Charles in The Crown – has claimed the King is an ’emotional’ and ‘open hearted guy’ in private – ‘in spite of his buttoned up exterior’ in public.

READ MORE: Everything we know so far about series 6 of The Crown – from Diana’s ghost to a young love story and a royal wedding

His co-star Olivia Williams, 55, meanwhile, praised Queen Camilla for being ‘provoked and provoked and provoked’ but ‘never rising’ to it.

Dominic, 54, said: ‘[Charles] is very emotional and he’s got real anger and I think he’s got real sadness to him and real compassion and so I think he is very emotional.

‘What’s great about The Crown is that you see these public figures in private and I suspect in private he’s quite emotional, well that’s the way I played him anyway. 

‘I’ve sort of assumed that Charles is an emotional and rather open hearted guy in spite of his buttoned up exterior, which he obviously has to have in public,’ concluded the British actor.

Dominic, who’s played Queen Elizabeth II’s son in both the fifth and sixth season of the Netflix hit, added that he ‘admires’ the King – but believes the now monarch ‘gets a lot of stick and I didn’t want to add to that’.

‘I talked to a lot of people who have met him because he’s met a lot of people, he’s met probably more than anyone except the Queen and Prince Philip. Almost everyone has extremely warm, kind things to say about him,’ the actor added. 

Elsewhere, Olivia, who plays Camilla, praised the royal, saying she ‘deserved some credit’ for being the ‘perfect companion to our King’.

‘There seems to be a sort of Camilla or Diana clash, whereas I don’t think it has to be that. It was a dreadful situation,’ said the British actress.

‘It’s like a subject at school, the causes of the Second World War. How did we get to a place in society where Charles ended up marrying Diana? That was just an extraordinary anomaly that was no particular person’s fault. 

The British actress, 67, will be reprising her role as the late Queen Elizabeth (pictured in 2011), which previously earned her a nomination for a Golden Globe Award

Elsewhere, Dominic West (pictured right) – who plays Prince Charles in The Crown – has claimed the King is an ’emotional’ and ‘open hearted guy’ in private – ‘in spite of his buttoned up exterior’ in public

‘But moving forward, Charles and Camilla have shown that their marriage is an excellent one, and that she is the perfect companion to our King and so I did feel that deserved some credit, and also the fact that she really still hasn’t written– You know, where is the book, Camilla, her Story, Camilla, in her Words, you know? 

‘She has been provoked and provoked and provoked, and has never risen; she’s a better woman than I.’

Stars of The Crown also said they were reduced to tears shooting scenes surrounding the death of Princess Diana.

READ MORE: The Crown is branded ‘disrespectful’ and ‘tacky’ after starring Diana’s GHOST in first trailer for series 6 – as viewers call for hit Netflix show to let princess ‘rest in peace’ 

The Netflix series has faced a backlash for choosing to dramatise the tragic events of 1997, despite executives insisting the depiction has been done with the utmost sensitivity.

Elizabeth Debicki, 33, who plays the princess, said she found filming the scenes in the run-up to her death ‘heavy and very manic, and incredibly invasive’.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the sixth and final series, she said: ‘It was difficult to recreate.

‘At times it’s almost like an animalistic response to being pursued, by that many actors playing the Press, because there’s nowhere you can go and you only have to be in a situation like that for about a minute before you realise this is completely unbearable.’

The Australian actress said that filming Diana’s final 24 hours had been ‘very demanding’, adding: ‘I think it’s going to be really interesting to see how people respond to the show.’

Jonathan Pryce, 76, who plays Prince Philip, said he ‘could not stop crying’ when director Christian Schwochow put together clips from the series for them to watch about Diana’s death.

He added: ‘Neither could the cameraman who’d filmed it or the director who’d shot it. It was an extraordinary moment. It was reliving waking up and listening to the radio.’

Fellow cast member Khalid Abdalla, 42, who plays Dodi Fayed, said he even walked the route taken by the car in which the couple died in the Alma tunnel to better ‘understand’ what happened.

The actor said: ‘There are all sorts of things that I have understood about the geography of what happened on that day that I didn’t understand before doing this, or until doing what I did as I walked the entire trajectory of the car down to the Alma tunnel, back and forward, to understand it.

Netflix recently released new images to promote the final series of the hit drama – including a poster (above) showcasing the three actors who played Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown standing side-by-side

‘It’s a huge responsibility, and I hope audiences, when they see it, feel that we have done it right and honoured how sensitive it is.’ Dodi’s father Mohamed Fayed, played by Salim Daw, is seen grieving in some scenes.

Young actor Fflyn Edwards, who plays Prince Harry, amazed the director Mr Schwochow with his ability to capture the emotion of the prince in the aftermath of his mother’s death.

‘For me in my directing career it was seeing this 12-year-old actor surrounded by a hundred extras, a hundred shooting crew and all these star actors and he just on the first take showed an emotion that just made us all stop breathing,’ said Mr Schwochow.

The Crown producers came under fire earlier this year when it emerged that they had shot scenes of the run-up to the crash, footage of a mangled car and Diana’s coffin. The late princess will also appear as a ghost in an emotional reconciliation with a grieving Prince Charles, played by Dominic West.

Other series six storylines see Prince William trying to integrate into life at Eton in the wake of his mother’s death. The Queen, played by Imelda Staunton, 67, reaches her Golden Jubilee and reflects on the future of the monarchy with the marriage of Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

Lesley Manville, 67, who reprises her role as Princess Margaret, said she understood some of the criticisms levelled at the Queen’s sister as she was a ‘spoiled princess’ who ‘didn’t do much to earn money’.

The first four episodes are released on November 16 and the rest on December 14.

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