The Crown's Olivia Colman and Gillian Anderson Reveal What It Was Really Like Meeting Royal Family

During a recent interview, The Crown stars Olivia Colman and Gillian Anderson shared details on meeting the Queen and the friendliness of the Palace staff.

By Mona Thomas Nov 12, 2020 3:28 PMTags
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Long live the Queen. 

During a Nov. 11 virtual interview with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Netflix's The Crown stars Olivia Colman and Gillian Anderson discussed what it was like to meet members of the royal family in real life.

"I was very nervous, but it wasn't the Queen that I met," Olivia, who depicts Queen Elizabeth, explained to Stephen Colbert. "I met Princess Anne and the Palace—what was hilarious, it turns out everything we've done in The Crown was toned down compared to as it is in the actual Palace."

The Netflix star also shared that the day she visited there were people with "endless gold frills on their shoulders and all sorts of different outfits and different uniforms," but what she pointed out was how nice the staff were atop their decorative clothing. 

"The staff were so sweet and if you looked nervous they'd go, ‘Don't worry. It's okay. It's all a cup of tea,'" she said in an exaggerated British accent. "They were sweet. They'd go, ‘Just turn to the left, look that way, stop here.' They helped you along the way. But it was an extraordinary experience. It's one I will never forget."

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Gillian, who noted that she's met the Queen Elizabeth II multiple times in the past, recalled the people with the "gold frills" and their movements around the royal monarch. 

"At the end, all of a sudden, the room felt like it started to get smaller and smaller," the 52-year-old actress remembered. "And I looked over and I realized that all of these men that Olivia was talking about with the epaulets on the shoulders and everything, they were in a line, cutting the room in half and they all had trays in front of them."

Gillian, who depicts Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, continued, "And they were walking in Unison towards you in a line, so making the room smaller and smaller. It was like in Star Wars. It was like that with the tray, so you're meant to put the drink on the tray that they're holding and skedaddle."

Hopefully Olivia and Gillian bring all the added notes of royal living to the fourth season of The Crown, which is slated to premiere on Nov. 15.