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Olivia Colman - soon to play the Queen in The Crown - jokes about meeting her real-life ‘son’ Prince Charles

The actor Olivia Colman, who is to play The Queen in the next series of The Crown, has joked about meeting her real-life ‘son’.

Colman will star in the next series of the Netflix blockbuster when it returns to our screens next year.

At a celebrity-filled awards ceremony for Prince Charles’ charity, The Prince’s Trust, Colman says she was “really pleased” that the real-life royal did not appear to know what her new role was going to be in the TV drama. Olivia Colman told ITV News: “I'm really pleased he didn't know. I think that would be weird.” She laughed: “What do you say? 'Hello Darling'?”

The Prince of Wales met the actor when he arrived for the Princes Trust Awards at the London Palladium. They shared a few jokes in the line-up – but not about Colman playing his mother.

The actor, who has starred in the ITV drama Broadchurch and the BBC series The Night Manager, spoke about how she will prepare her voice for her new role.

“I think there is an awful lot of help”, she said when we asked about how she will accurately copy The Queen’s voice, adding: “There's an amazing voice department and an amazing voice coach and I'll work with him and we'll just see how it goes.”

Sir Tom Jones and Olly Murs were among the stars at the Prince's Trust Awards at the London Palladium

Colman shared the red carpet with Sir Tom Jones and Olly Murs from The Voice UK, as well as presenters Ant and Dec, actor Tom Hardy, Spice Girl Mel C and singer Cheryl Tweedy.

The award ceremony is put on to honour those who have best overcome their challenges.

The Prince’s Trust works with disadvantaged youngsters and helps them get into business and employment with advice and loans.

The Prince started the charity in 1976 with the money he received in severance pay from the Royal Navy.

On stage at the London Palladium, the Prince thanked the celebrities who have worked with his Trust.

Olivia Colman in ITV's Broadchurch with David Tennant Credit: ITV

He also joked about Cheryl Tweedy’s many changes of surname.

He said: "I thought to myself some time ago 'who's Cheryl Tweedy?' I suddenly realised I knew the Cheryl bit but missed out on the Tweedy.” Tweedy was her maiden name but the singer has previously had no surname and been known as Cheryl Cole and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, during her previous marriages.

She has supported the Princes Trust in her native Newcastle and Prince Charles called her “a great Geordie” who has made “such a difference in that part of the world."

Olivia Colman told us she started working with the charity because it is “genuinely there, to help people that other people might not be interested in.”

And she said the Prince of Wales’ long-held commitment to the Trust is one of its strengths: “Many other people in charge of this Trust might have come and gone and we might have seen various figure heads but the fact that he's there and he's there for the long run is really impressive and I think that's why it's such a strong Trust and can do so much for people, because it's got really good foundations.”