The Crown actress Claire Foy has spoken of the honour of playing the British Queen on screen saying the late monarch was a "massive symbol of continuity and dignity and grace".

38-year-old Foy portrayed the Queen in the popular Netflix show for the first two series before handing over the role to Olivia Colman and Imelda Staunton.

Speaking to the BBC at the Toronto Film Festival, she said: "I think that she was an incredible monarch.

"She united people and she was a massive symbol of continuity and dignity and grace."

Foy added: "My main feeling is just thinking about her as a mother and a grandmother and a great-grandmother, really, and I’m very honoured to have been a teeny-tiny, small part of her story."

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

The actress made her debut in the role in 2016 for the show’s first season alongside Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.

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

It also took in the death of King George VI and the Queen’s subsequent ascension to the throne.

Vanessa Kirby portrayed Princess Margaret and much of the series was also devoted to telling the story of her romance with RAF officer Peter Townsend.

The series debuted to rave reviews and Foy received a string of awards for her portrayal including an Emmy and Golden Globe as well as two BAFTA nominations.

Netflix recently revealed that the first series has entered the streamer’s global top 10 for the week of September 5-11 following the Queen’s death.

The series landed in seventh position for TV shows in the English language, with nearly 17.6 million hours viewed globally.

The weekly post stated: "HRH Queen Elizabeth II was in the hearts and minds of viewers.

"Fans revisited Season 1 of The Crown, which entered the list for the first time in the seventh spot with 17.57 million hours viewed."

Filming on the latest series of The Crown was halted following the death of the Queen last Thursday and filming will also be suspended on Monday for the Queen’s funeral.

The upcoming fifth series of the lavish royal drama, currently due to air in November, will see Dominic West star as Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Crown was due to end after its fifth series, but the show’s creator and writer Peter Morgan later said it will be extended to include a sixth.

Source: Press Association