But as far as Claire and co-star Matt Smith, 35, who played Prince Philip, are concerned, it’s not goodbye forever. “Matt and I have said to the team… we will come back if you will have us,” Claire told Life & Style.
Though she can’t take the part back from Olivia, there’s always the possibility of flashbacks. “I would return, of course [to film flashback scenes],” she said. “It would be a joy to go back.” Saying goodbye, even if only temporarily, to the show that earned her a Golden Globe hasn’t been easy on Claire.
In the meantime, Claire has been busy teaching Olivia the ins and outs of the Queen Elizabeth role. “She’s f–king amazing and it’s a very hard act to follow,” Olivia gushed of Claire. “They — the people, the grown-ups — put us in touch so I could ask her about it and she was just lovely, she’s one of the sweetest people ever and she’s brilliant.”
She added, “Watching the first season was blissful because I had no idea [I’d later be on the show]. With the second season, I now know I’ve got to follow in her footsteps.”
Claire previously revealed that it was clear to her she’d only be on the show for a short time period. “I always knew from the get-go that I was only going to be doing two [seasons]. I’m just very grateful that I have had such a wonderful time playing that part and made friends for life,” Claire confessed before Season 2 began streaming. “I always knew from the get-go that I was only going to be doing two [seasons]. I’m just very grateful that I have had such a wonderful time playing that part and made friends for life.”
And although we’re excited to see Olivia on The Crown, we’re going to miss Claire — and apparently so is she. “I’m going to miss my friends on the show,” she admitted to Life & Style. “It’s been a huge part of my life.”