Claire Foy Says She 'Ended' Her Role on “The Crown” When She Did 'for My Own Sanity' (Exclusive)

The actress originated the role of Queen Elizabeth on the hit Netflix series in 2016

<p>Alex Bailey / Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection</p> Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in season 2 of

Alex Bailey / Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in season 2 of 'The Crown'

Claire Foy has no regrets about ending her journey on The Crown.

Foy, 39, originated the on-screen role of Queen Elizabeth in the hit Netflix series, and played the titular character for the first two seasons.

As the sixth and final season approaches, Foy tells PEOPLE she feels the show has “moved on” since her departure in 2017 — but she doesn’t have any ill will about it.

“I've got a lot of love for the people who are still doing the show, but for my own sanity, I ended the show when I ended it,” the actress says at the Los Angeles premiere of All of Us Strangers on Wednesday. “I let it go and moved on and I think that's quite healthy.”

After Foy's departure, the show began to rotate the cast of its major characters every two seasons. Olivia Colman came next as Queen Elizabeth, followed by Imelda Staunton, who will conclude the show’s run.

Related: Every Actress Who Has Played Queen Elizabeth on 'The Crown' (and What She's Said About It)

Shortly after leaving the show, Foy told PEOPLE she wasn’t afraid to leave the iconic series behind.

“I don’t feel like I’m defined by playing Queen Elizabeth,” she said at the time. “It’s a huge honor that people liked that character and therefore see me as that character. So, I’m not trying to actively go against that.”

<p>Stuart Hendry / Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection</p> Claire Foy in season 2 of 'The Crown'

Stuart Hendry / Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

Claire Foy in season 2 of 'The Crown'

She said she was “really, really proud” of the time she spent working on the show, but was equally excited about what was to come.

“My career is only for me, really,” Foy said. “I can’t do it for anybody else and so the choices and decisions I make are purely based on what I want to do. That’s it really. It’s a really selfish thing.”

Related: The Crown Season 6 Sneak Peek Shows Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret's Legendary VE Day

In the lead-up to the premiere of the final installment of the Emmy-winning series, several members of the show’s team opened up to PEOPLE about some of the behind-the-scenes pieces that made it a hit — and why Foy, Colman and Staunton were the perfect leaders.

Speaking to why Foy was the perfect actress to portray the late Queen during her early years, the series’ historical consultant, Robert Lacey, said, “They were very glamorous years. The Queen was the most glamorous figure in the world, and Claire Foy captured that well.”

He added of Foy, “She also conveyed her fragility and her uncertainty and how she grew into the role.”

The Crown’s costume designer, Amy Roberts. said of the era Foy portrayed, “This young girl growing up, the discipline that she brings on herself is quite remarkable. Her clothes might be fashionable, but there's a more controlled element about them.”

Related: The Crown's Kate Middleton and Prince William Feel 'Responsibility' and 'Pressure' of Roles (Exclusive)

<p>Robert Viglasky / Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection</p> Claire Foy and Matt Smith in season 2 of 'The Crown'

Robert Viglasky / Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

Claire Foy and Matt Smith in season 2 of 'The Crown'

As for how Colman, 49, brought something new to the character, Lacey said that seasons 3 and 4 “portrayed how the Queen could relate to her people more closely than their elected representatives.”

While Colman soared as the people’s royal figure, she also brought levity to the set.

“Olivia led the way on fun. She just wasn't going to have a kind of somber serious makeup truck,” hair and makeup designer Cate Hall said. “We would have lunchtime raves. All the lights would go off and there'd be loads of neon, loud music and glow sticks. Considering we were doing quite serious subject matter, the light relief was quite intense.”

As for Staunton, who will close out the lead character, Lacey remarked that the actress was graceful in her portrayal of the monarch’s tumultuous later years.

“She captured the twinkle amid the dowdiness. She brought great softness to the stern side of the Queen,” Lacey said. “Those were the years of the family issues threatening to derail the family institution. You could say she kept it on the rails.”

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Part 2 of The Crown season 6 debuts on Netflix Dec. 14. 

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