The Crown’s Erin Doherty says she’s ‘fallen in love’ with Princess Anne and believes her ‘steeliness’ comes from the Queen being an absent ‘mother figure’ during her childhood
- Actress, 28, from Crawley, plays the Princess Royal in Netflix series The Crown
- Reveals she was ‘so much fun to play’ and branded Anne, 70, ‘magnificent’
- Told how she drew on her childhood of ‘not having a mother figure’ for character
- Series four of The Crown will be available to watch on Netflix this Sunday
The actress, 28, from Crawley, told how she admires the Princess Royal’s courage and ‘steeliness’, much of which she believes comes from not having a typical ‘mother figure’ during her childhood.
The fourth season of The Crown, which hits screens tomorrow, is critical in its dramatisation of the Queen’s parenting of her daughter, with the monarch – played by Olivia Colman – boasting of leaving her and Charles alone as young children for five months during her and Philip’s tour of Australia in 1954.
Speaking to The Times, Erin said: ‘My choice… was to make [Anne’s steeliness] come from this childhood of not having that mother figure there as you would have wished. You kind of go, “Well, that’s fine. If that person isn’t there, I don’t need one”.’
The Crown’s Erin Doherty has revealed she’s ‘fallen in love’ with Princess Anne while playing her (pictured) in the Netflix series
She added: ‘I think Olivia does an amazing job at portraying [the Queen], but I think that is what’s fascinating about them. This family is completely circulating around this woman who needs to do this thing that she does, but it actually completely detaches her from the beating heart that is a family.’
Erin said Princess Anne’s ability to ‘deflect judgment’, especially from the press while growing up, was one of her favourite traits to bring to life on-screen.
‘That part of her personality was the most fun to embrace,’ she explained.
‘She had this ability to completely deflect judgment. It had impacted her so early on from being introduced to the media.
The fourth season of The Crown, which hits screens tomorrow, is critical in its dramatisation of the Queen’s parenting of her daughter (pictured together in August 1983)
‘They commented on her from when she was 16. They commented on her body. I find that fascinating and horrendous.
‘If someone had called me frumpy as a 16-year-old, I’d have had a breakdown.’
Erin, who knew very little about the princess before landing the part, said one of the things that excited her most about playing her was the opportunity to bring her to life for people of her age.
‘For my generation, it would kind of be like an introduction to a person people deserve to know because she’s magnificent,’ the actress explained.
‘The way she is within the rigidity that is the Royal Family, the way that she behaves within that, is brilliant. And it was so much fun to play her… I kind of fell in love with her.’
Erin told how she admires the Princess Royal’s courage and ‘steeliness’, much of which she believes comes from not having a typical ‘mother figure’ during her childhood. Pictured as Anne in a scene with Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies), Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter), the Queen (Olivia Colman), the Queen Mother (Marion Bailey) and Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor)
Erin, who knew very little about the princess before landing the part, said one of the things that excited her most about playing her was the opportunity to bring her to life for people of her age
She added that she was ‘so gutted’ writer Peter Morgan decided not to include the armed kidnap attempt of the Princess Royal in 1974, because it’s been so well-documented.
Anne was returning to Buckingham Palace from a charity event when Ian Ball tried to abduct her, planning to hold her ransom for millions of pounds, and shot four men in the process.
The princess heroically refused to get out of the car, even when Ball grabbed her arm.
Erin said she ‘completely gets’ why Morgan decided to leave it out of the drama, but ‘as an actor, I was gutted’.
In a recent interview for Town & Country magazine, Erin said playing the royal gave her the courage to be honest, when previously she was focused on ‘not wanting to upset people’.
While gracing the cover of the publication, the actress – who will not play Anne in future series – also admitted that leaving behind her iconic role ‘is kind of like mourning someone at the end’.