Olivia Colman recreates Queen’s visit after Aberfan tragedy

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Wales news service

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Former Broadchurch actress Olivia Colman is taking over the role from Claire Foy, who played the young monarch in the first two series

It remains one of the most touching moments of the Queen’s reign that is still remembered by the victims.

Now actress Olivia Colman has recreated the moment the monarch met families affected by the Aberfan disaster in 1966.

The tragedy is being recreated in the small Welsh village of Cwmaman for the next series of The Crown.

Bafta-winner Colman will star as the Queen in the third series of the hit drama to be shown next year.

She has been filming a recreation of events after the Aberfan tragedy on 21 October 1966, when a colliery waste tip collapsed, with slurry engulfing Pantglas Junior School in the village.

The Netflix series has reached the mid-1960s in its timeline of Royal history.

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Wales news service

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An onlooker said there was a “very sombre mood” as filming took place

A total of 144 people – including 116 children – died in the disaster on the last day before half term.

Eight days after the disaster Queen Elizabeth II visited the village for the first time, speaking to villagers, including some parents of the children killed. She has returned four times since.

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Media captionThe Queen visits Aberfan after disaster

Colman was filmed leaving a small terraced house, flanked by police officers and mourning villagers, who were dressed in black.

She was dressed in a fur-lined coat with matching hat and clutching a black leather handbag and bouquet of flowers.

Actors were also seen carrying funeral wreaths through the streets.

One onlooker, who watched the filming, said: “It was all very dignified, Olivia Colman is clearly taking her role very seriously.

“There was a very sombre mood. I think everyone involved in the production realises what an awful tragedy Aberfan was.”

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Mark Lewis

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The recreation of Pantglas Junior School

Director Benjamin Caron said it was important the disaster was marked in the new series.

Big Pit National Coal Museum, in Blaenavon, has also been used though producers decided against filming in Aberfan itself.

Tobias Menzies was earlier spotted in a Rolls Royce in a small Welsh village in his role as Prince Phillip.

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Director Benjamin Caron said the disaster would be treated with “truth and dignity”