When new mum Claire Foy first took on the role as The Queen in the Netflix hit The Crown, she could not have known how much it – and motherhood – would test her mettle.
“No way of getting down to feed my baby”
Golden Globe awards winner Claire has just chatted to British Vogue, ahead of the release of Season 2 of our favourite royal series, and she shared some details about how gosh-darned difficult it was to balance being a new mum and inhabiting this amazing role.
Claire is married to fellow actor Stephen Campbell Moore. Their daughter was born in March 2015 and was just 4-months-old when they started shooting. Claire laughs now, remembering she was deeply unprepared for the challenges balancing work and a baby would bring.
“On the first day of filming, I found myself halfway up a Scottish mountain with engorged boobs and no way of getting down to feed my baby,” Claire told British Vogue of her first days on set as Queen Elizabeth.
“I had to ring my husband and tell him to give her formula … as I sat in a Land Rover trying to get my broken breast pump to work.”
“I felt I’d made the worst mistake of my life,” she admitted, saying that the realisation that she’d have to supplement her own milk felt “like someone had stamped on my heart.”
Claire and Stephen are pretty private about their daughter – we don’t even know her name – but Claire did let something slip as she accepted her Best Actress in a Drama award at the 2017 Golden Globes, thanking an “extraordinary woman in the making, my girl. I love you, you’re the future, and oh, you’re just brilliant.”
“I was sort of breastfeeding… and being The Queen!”
Luckily, those early and fraught attempts to work and breastfeed her baby daughter did not predict the days ahead.
Claire quickly found her feet – and a better, less broken breast pump – and was soon expressing like an absolute trooper in her trailer, as hair and makeup prepped her for each day.
“I was a lunatic. I generally think, yes, I was a lunatic,” Claire told Graham Norton during an appearance on his evening chat show. “I was sort of breastfeeding… and being The Queen!”
Giggling with The Crown co-star, Matt Smith (who plays Prince Philip) about the sound her breast pump emitted, she agreed that she “made a lot of milk during that job. I was like a cow” as Matt made his best effort at mimicking the low drone her pump let out. More of a “moo” sound, really….
Season Two of The Crown is coming to Netflix on December 8.