The Crown's Claire Foy on Stepping Down as Queen Elizabeth After Season Two: 'I’m Going to Miss It'

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It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth in Netflix’s The Crown. But come season three, Foy and her co-star Matt Smith will be recast as the show jumps decades down the road in the lives of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Foy, who took home a Golden Globe and SAG Award for her role, opened up about leaving the show after the second season during the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival over the weekend.

“That’s not a shock – we always knew when we signed up to it,” she said. “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-mouther. And that’s a lot of your life that you sign over to it. I’m going to miss it terribly. But I just can’t wait to see where it goes, I just can’t wait.”

Foy, 32, was pregnant when she accepted the part of the young Queen. “I was an idiot—such a huge idiot!” the star, who welcomed her first child with husband Stephen Campbell Moore in February 2015, told British talk show host Graham Norton. “I was a lunatic trying to breastfeed and be the Queen. It was an odd thing to do.”

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And also got to meet the real Queen Elizabeth, albeit for a brief moment.

“It was very brief,” she told PEOPLE in January. “She touched my hand and I touched hers.”

Smith also appeared on the show and revealed he got some special advice from Prince William about playing his formidable grandfather after they met briefly at a polo match. “I thought, ‘Oh god, I’m going to die of embarrassment,’” he said. “And all he said was, ‘He’s an absolute legend.’ “

Season two of The Crown is expected to hit Netflix in November, with a third season to follow in 2018.

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