Inside A Very British Scandal star Claire Foy's glittering career and split from Downton Abbey actor ex husband

A Very British Scandal actress Claire Foy is one of Britain's biggest film and TV stars.

Claire, 37, has shunned social media platforms, only giving glimpses of her life through rare interviews.

She was born in Stockport and grew up in Manchester and Leeds before moving to Buckinghamshire, and explored her love of acting and drama at Liverpool John Moores University.

She trained for a year at the prestigious Oxford School of Drama and after graduating landed her first TV role as Julia, George’s former fiancé in the pilot episode of BBC drama Being Human.

In 2008, Claire won the lead role of Amy Dorrit in the BBC production of Little Dorrit and starred in the film Season Of The Witch alongside Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage.

She also appeared on stage with James McAvoy at the Trafalgar Studios in London in Macbeth, before returning to TV in 2015 drama series Wolf Hall in which she played Anne Boleyn alongside Damien Lewis as Henry VIII.

Bigger roles soon beckoned. Three years later she won praise in series one and two of The Crown as a young Queen Elizabeth II and the role earned her an Emmy for Best Actress in 2018.

That year she cracked Hollywood in blockbuster The Girl in the Spider's Web.

On training for the role of action heroine Lisbeth Salander, she said: “So much of it was about being physically able to do the stunt. Suddenly I was like, ‘I can do ten press-ups.’ I could run. I could lift weights.

“When I read the script of Spider’s Web, I did think, I don’t know anyone who would take this on.”

Claire welcomed her daughter, Ivy Rose, into the world in 2015.

Speaking about becoming a mother, she said: “It’s amazing seeing them discover everything for the first time, She’s very like a border collie. She needs to run outside. She loves pulling faces.

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"And then every- body goes, ‘Oh, another actor in the family?’ I don’t want people to put that on kids. I mean, when I was a kid I was just told to shut up—it was quite nice.”

In 2018, The Sun revealed Claire had separated from Ivy's dad and husband Stephen Campbell Moore.

The pair had met on the set of movie Season Of The Witch in 2011 and got married in 2014.

The split came just months after Stephen had undergone a life-saving operation to remove a brain tumour.

They confirmed their break-up in a statement to The Sun, explaining: "We have separated and have been for some time.

"We do however continue as great friends with the utmost respect for one another."

On separating, she also said in an interview with Vogue: “I’m incredibly lucky that I have a child with someone I deeply love and who is my best friend."

Fans may recognise the 41-year-old from movies including Goodbye Christopher Robyn, The Bank Job, Jonny English Reborn and The Lady in the Van, as well as the Downton Abbey movie.

This week, Claire returned to the small screen for another major role.

This time Claire played one of the most disreputable aristocrats of the 20th century.

The Crown star took on the role of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll in A Very British Scandal, with Paul Bettany playing her husband.

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