Colman — who plays Queen Elizabeth in Season 3 of the Netflix hit — asked Prince William the question at a Buckingham Palace reception

By Phil Boucher
November 08, 2019 02:11 PM

It’s official: Prince William does not watch The Crown. At least that’s what he told Oscar winner Olivia Colman!

The actress — who plays Queen Elizabeth in Season 3 of the hit Netflix show, debuting November 17 — met the Duke of Cambridge at a recent Buckingham Palace reception and popped the tricky question in a chat she jokingly admits “didn’t go very well.”

“He asked what I was doing at the moment before he quickly added, ‘Actually, I know what you’re doing,’ ” Colman reveals on The Graham Norton Show on Friday.

“I was so excited and asked, ‘Have you watched it?’ ” she continues. “His answer was a firm, ‘No.’ But he was very charming and very lovely.”

This isn’t the first royal revelation to slip from Colman’s lips since she landed the lead role of William’s grandmother, which was previously played by Claire Foy on The Crown. Back in October, the actress admitted her husband stole some “loo [toilet] roll” from the same reception, “just to say we got it from Buckingham Palace.”

Prince William and Olivia Colman
Tim P. Whitby/Getty; Kevork Djansezian/Getty

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“I was very uncool, and he was charming,” she told The Sunday Times about meeting the royal dad of three at the event. “He has that thing where he makes you feel you’re the most exciting person in the room.”

Yet it hasn’t all been calamities for Colman since she landed the lead role in The Crown. On October 31, the actress had a brush with her character’s real-life daughter at Buckingham Palace, when Princess Anne (played by British actress Erin Doherty in the Netflix hit) made her a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to drama.

Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter
Isabel Infantes/PA Images/Getty

Away from the real-life royals, Colman’s also struck up a friendship with co-star Helena Bonham Carter, who plays the Queen’s younger sister, Princess Margaret.

“It really is fun,” Bonham Carter tells Norton about the third series, which details the life of Queen Elizabeth in a rapidly changing Great Britain between the years 1964 and 1977. “We’ve been together for so long, but we still like each other.”

The Crown's Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia Colman
Julian Broad for EW

Bonham Carter also addresses the recent revelation that she visited a psychic to “speak” to Princess Margaret — who died on February 9, 2002 — before she agreed to the role.

“This story has gathered its own momentum,” she tells Norton. “I actually went to see a friend about something else, but she has a talent for mediumship and she suddenly said, ‘Margaret is here. Does that mean anything?’ ”

Bonham Carter — who’s dating 32-year-old writer Rye Dag Holmboe — continues, “I hadn’t actually said yes (to the part) yet, but thought I’d ask her if I should take the role and she said, ‘You’ll be better than the other one. “

“There was actually someone else up for the part and it was typical of Margaret,” she adds. “I’d met her a few times and you never really knew where you were with her, she had a way of complimenting and putting you down at the same time.”

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown
Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix

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As for Colman? Well, her preparation for the role of Queen Elizabeth has been slightly less thorough (and a whole less spiritual).

“I did nothing,” she tells Norton. “Though I did have a movement coach. But still I walked like me, or rather like a farmer!”

Season 3 of The Crown hits Netflix on Nov. 17.

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