The Crown: Imelda Staunton jokes Queen is ‘original Spice Girl’

Actor declines to answer whether she views the Queen as a ‘feminist icon’

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 04 January 2021 11:48
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Imelda Staunton has joked that the Queen could be viewed as “an original Spice Girl”, because of the example she has set to other women.

The actor, who stars as Queen Elizabeth II in the forthcoming fifth season of The Crown, appeared on Woman’s Hour to speak with new host Emma Barnett.

While she skirted around Barnett’s question of whether the Queen was “a feminist icon”, Staunton suggested she “might be an original Spice Girl”, referencing singer Mel C’s appearance earlier on in the show.

“She’s always been there,” she said. “To have something, whether you’re royalist or not… this person has got up and gone to work every day for 60 years, and I admire that.”

She added: “I feel that is her most important aspect, her ability to be there and be solid for everyone, at all times.”

Asked whether she had been impersonating the Queen while at home, Staunton admitted she was caught by her husband in the garden with the dog, while she practised her “Queen” voice.

“I do it when I don’t even know I’m doing it,” she said.

In the same interview, Staunton commented on the furore surrounding the pressure on Netflix to add a disclaimer to the beginning of episodes, amid criticism over its lack of historical accuracy.

Staunton said that she believed it was “up to producers and directors to decide” whether to add a disclaimer to the show or not.

“Surely [what] you want to say to people is… this isn’t verbatim, this isn’t taken from diaries,” she said.

“You’ve got to use your imagination, I think. I’d like to allow the audience a bit of intelligence and go, ‘Well, you can’t know that’s what Margaret and Elizabeth were talking about.’”

Season five of The Crown is expected to be released on Netflix in 2022.

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