Royal duties took a back seat as Olivia Colman made a welcome appearance at a fundraising event in London‘s Knightsbridge on Monday evening.
The Oscar winning actress will return to TV as Queen Elizabeth II when the forthcoming third season of historical drama The Crown airs on Netflix.
But filming commitments on behalf of the hugely popular show, which charts the Queen’s rise to power as head of the British monarchy, were put to one side while Olivia, 45, paid a visit to renowned auction house Bonhams.
The star was making an appearance at the Art for Eve reception as the charity kicks off the third year of its arts fundraising programme, which has so far raised more than £400,000.
Posing for photos as she made her way inside, Olivia looked typically elegant in a tasteful white evening dress and black leather boots.
The actress added to her understated look with a stylish camel coat, while a distinctive black lather handbag proved to be her only visible accessory.
Other stars attending the event included comedienne Jo Brand, fashion entrepreneur Noelle Reno and reality star Megan Barton-Hanson, who will soon strip off for The All New Monty 2019: Who Bares Wins on behalf of cancer awareness.
The Eve Appeal is currently the only UK charity raising funds for research into all five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal.
Monday’s reception will be be followed by an auction on May 2, during which guests can bid on 13 lots including artworks by the likes of Grayson Perry, Bambi, Julian Opie and Patrick Hughes.
Olivia is currently hard at work on the new series of The Crown, which covers the period from 1964-1970 when the Queen’s son Charles was between the ages of 16 and 22.
She will join Tobias Menzies, who plays Prince Phillip, and Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Princess Margaret, with the cast reenacting pivotal royal moments from the past 50 years.
These include Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles (Emerald Fennell) flirting at a polo match in 1975, and the future king’s investiture ceremony in 1969.
The Favourite actress revealed how a transplant gave classmate Pip “hope in the darkness”.
Colman urges the public to sign up to the charity’s stem cell register, which she and husband Ed Sinclair joined in 2008, so that others have a chance of living. In the film, she says: “Sadly my friend Pip didn’t make it, but together we can make sure more people like Pip do make it. We want more people on the register. It’s just a little swab of the mouth … Without you there is no cure.”
Pip’s only chance of survival had been a donor who could provide a perfect match, according to Colman. Soon a donor was found in Australia. “Anthony Nolan did an amazing thing,” Colman said. She became patron of Anthony Nolan in July last year.
About 2,000 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant every year. Donations from young men and people with black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds are needed in particular.
Anthony Nolan’s chief executive Henny Braund said: “It is wonderful to have Olivia’s support and I am grateful to her for sharing this heartfelt story. This will help us continue to give hope to thousands of people every year.”