Broken elbow turns royal series into a costume drama for star Claire Foy

Updated: 

Actress Claire Foy has told how she struggled to get into her costumes for new royal drama The Crown after a broken bone caused her arm to swell.

The star broke her elbow when she fell over at a wedding three months into shooting her role as Queen Elizabeth II, and it posed a real problem on set.

She told the Radio Times: "I wasn't even drunk. It was so embarrassing phoning the producer to tell him. I had to go back to work because we had these huge scenes to shoot of the royal wedding and the coronation at Ely Cathedral."

Claire Foy (Yui Mok/PA)
Claire Foy (Yui Mok/PA)

Claire had to battle through the pain until a doctor "syringed all the blood off my elbow" and reduced the swelling.

"But getting into the costumes was tricky for quite a while," she added.

The Netflix series follows the Queen from her marriage to Philip Mountbatten in 1947 to the resignation of her first prime minister, Winston Churchill, in 1955.

Claire, 32, said her part became more difficult as shooting went on.

"In the first two episodes, before she becomes Queen, I could be a lot freer with my emotions, but as the series goes on she develops an armour in order to cope with her circumstances," she said.

"She has to be a sphinx, which must be so hard. Imagine never being able to shout 'shut up' or cry, even in front of your own family."

Wolf Hall
Claire Foy in Wolf Hall (BBC)

The Wolf Hall actress watched footage of the monarch to help her get into character and was "able to pick up a couple of little tics".

She said: "For instance, she plays with her hands a lot and has a certain way of holding them on her lap when she's in public."

The Crown stars former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith as Prince Philip and American John Lithgow as Churchill.

Matt Smith (Joel Ryan/AP)
Matt Smith (Joel Ryan/AP)

It was written by Peter Morgan, who also penned 2006 film The Queen starring Dame Helen Mirren.

Peter admitted he would not like to meet the monarch in real life as he would feel too uncomfortable.

"I hope never to meet her," he said. "I've spent so long thinking and writing about the woman it would feel unnatural and uncomfortable. I'd just be embarrassed."