Imelda Staunton was filming The Crown when the Queen died

Imelda Staunton has revealed how the cast of The Crown learned of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Appearing on The Graham Norton Show on December 15, Staunton revealed that she was filming the royal drama's sixth and final season when the cast was informed of the late monarch's death

"Lesley Manville, who plays Princess Margaret, and myself were filming and we were told at lunch that we might be hearing some sad news," she said.

Staunton added that while initially confused, the cast was later told that the "sad news" in question related to the Queen's death.

Imelda Staunton in The Crown . Netflix

"We went ahead and ended the day...weirdly, in the schedule, I had ten days off, which were the days of mourning at the time," she continued. "I was heartbroken that night. I would have been heartbroken, but obviously, I think living with her for so long made it even more heartbreaking."

“That’s quite difficult”

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom died on September 8, 2022, at the age of 96. She is the longest-reigning monarch in the United Kingdom.

Staunton played Queen Elizabeth in the final two seasons of The Crown , following Claire Foy in seasons one and two and Olivia Colman in seasons three and four. Playing Queen Elizabeth.

Staunton recently told The Huffington Post that she found it difficult to play the Queen after her death.

"I wanted to bring a little bit of a queen vibe and be like, 'Okay, I have to do this,'" she explains. “We were shooting the day after the funeral, so I girded myself up and got dressed.”

Queen Elizabeth II of England. WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

"We did it with the same dignity and grace as they always did on The Crown , but obviously the atmosphere was very different around the world, in the UK, and even on set," Staunton added.

"Extra Challenge"

Meanwhile, Staunton also spoke on BBC Radio's Woman's Hour about the "extra challenges" of portraying a modern queen.

"I'm now playing the queen that we're more familiar with," she previously explained. "With Claire Foy, that's pretty much history, and now I'm playing a character that people might say, 'She wouldn't do that,' or 'She's not like that,' and that's what I personally hate the most. .”