22 Stars Who Have Played The Queen On Screen

22 Stars Who Have Played The Queen On Screen

Queen Elizabeth II sat on the British throne for 70 years, the longest reign of any monarch in British history. Over that time, she has been portrayed at various stages of her life in many motion picture and television dramas and was also parodied in comedies. 

24/7 Tempo compiled a list of actors who have played Queen Elizabeth II or Princess Elizabeth in movies and television, using sources such as Internet Movie Database. Our list excludes sketch comedy shows such as “Saturday Night Live” and other roles in variety shows.

Elizabeth passed away this week at age 96, and many of the films and television series about her life encompass the 70-year sweep of British history, beginning with her ascent to the throne in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI. Acclaimed series such as “The Crown” followed the evolution of the queen’s handling of crises such as the Welsh mining tragedy, managing a declining empire, the challenge of keeping the monarchy relevant in the modern age, and dealing with family turmoil. (These are the most important events in the life of queen elizabeth in every year of her reign.)

Some of the United Kingdom’s greatest actors have played Elizabeth, including Oscar winners Emma Thompson, Helen Mirren, and Olivia Colman. The list also includes Emmy-awarded Claire Foy and BAFTA winners Imelda Staunton, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Julie Walters. (At least one movie mentioned on the list also ranks among the worst movies based on true events.)

Several films and series have portrayed Elizabeth before she ascended the throne. Actors who have played the young princess include Neve Campbell in “Churchill: The Hollywood Years,” Sarah Gadon in “A Royal Night Out,” Freya Wilson in “The King’s Speech,” and Verity Russell in “The Crown.”

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

Jeannette Charles
> Movie: Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and various others
> Movie IMDb rating: 6.2 out of 10

Jeannette Charles is a retired British actor who is best known for portraying Queen Elizabeth II in dozens of productions. In fact, Charles played the queen in so many movies – in part due to her resemblance to the late monarch – that she was known as the queen impersonator. Charles’ career as the queen on TV and movies spans some 40 years and includes movies such as “Queen Kong,” “Is there a cop to save the Queen?” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember.”

Source: Courtesy of BBC Three (2012)

Neve Campbell
> Movie: Churchill: The Hollywood Years (2004)
> Movie IMDb rating: 4.9 out of 10

“Churchill: The Hollywood Years” is a parody. In the film, Neve Campbell plays Princess Elizabeth who helps an American soldier named Winston Churchill save the monarchy from Adolf Hitler, who has just moved into Buckingham Palace. (In the movie, Churchill claims the man with the same name who is the prime minister is actually an actor.)

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

Helen Mirren
> Movie: The Queen (2006)
> Movie IMDb rating: 7.3 out of 10

Helen Mirren won an Oscar for portraying the queen in the 2006 movie. The film covers Queen Elizabeth’s reaction to Princess Diana’s sudden death in a car accident in the days and weeks that followed Diana’s death. The film was nominated for a total of six Oscars, including Best Picture.

Source: Courtesy of Channel 4 Television Corporation (2009)

Barbara Flynn
> Movie: The Queen (2009)
> Movie IMDb rating: 7.3 out of 10

The TV docuseries “The Queen,” which includes archival footage in addition to dramatic recreations, premiered on U.K.’s Channel 4 in 2009, and it featured five actors who played Queen Elizabeth at different stages of her reign. Barbara Flynn was one of them. She portrayed the queen in 1992, a year marked by several divorces and separations in the royal family.

Source: Jelena Mbugua / Getty Images

Samantha Bond
> Movie: The Queen (2009)
> Movie IMDb rating: 7.3 out of 10

Samantha Bond played Queen Elizabeth in the docuseries during the 1970s. The period is best known for civil riots across the country, terrorist attacks (some set up by the IRA), and attempted kidnapping of Princess Anne.

Source: Courtesy of Channel 4 Television Corporation (2009)

Emilia Fox
> Movie: The Queen (2009)
> Movie IMDb rating: 7.3 out of 10

In the docuseries “The Queen,” Emilia Fox plays Queen Elizabeth in her early years as queen during which time her sister, Princess Margaret, was romantically involved with Peter Townsend. The two wanted to get married but the queen did not allow the union because Townsend was divorced. (Divorcees could not remarry in the Church of England if their former spouse was still alive, and Queen Elizabeth was the head of the church.)

Source: RFStock / Getty Images

Susan Jameson
> Movie: The Queen (2009)
> Movie IMDb rating: 7.3 out of 10

Susan Jameson portrayed the queen around the time of the 1986 Commonwealth Games. Many countries boycotted the event because of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s opposition to severing sporting links with apartheid South Africa. She opposed economic sanctions against the country’s regime.

Source: Ian Gavan / Getty Images

Diana Quick
> Movie: The Queen (2009)
> Movie IMDb rating: 7.3 out of 10

Diana Quick was Queen Elizabeth in the docuseries “The Queen” at the time of the wedding between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. The episode shows how the queen had a difficult time accepting her son’s second wife.

Source: Courtesy of BBC Worldwide (2008)

Rosemary Leach
> Movie: Margaret (2009)
> Movie IMDb rating: 7.1 out of 10

Rosemary Leach played the queen in a TV movie about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The film covers Thatcher’s final days in power. Leach did not have a major role as Queen Elizabeth.

Source: Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

Freya Wilson
> Movie: The King’s Speech (2010)
> Movie IMDb rating: 8.0 out of 10

Freya Wilson is the actor who played young Princess Elizabeth in the 2010 feature film “The King’s Speech” about how King George overcame his speech impediment. The movie was nominated for 12 Oscars, winning for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

Source: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Jane Alexander
> Movie: William & Catherine: A Royal Romance (2011)
> Movie IMDb rating: 4.9 out of 10

Four time Oscar-nominee Jane Alexander starred as Queen Elizabeth in the Hallmark movie “William & Catherine: A Royal Romance,” which recounts the romance between the heir to the throne and his future wife.

Source: Courtesy of Sky Arts (2012)

Emma Thompson
> Movie: Playhouse Presents (2012)
> Movie IMDb rating: 6.6 out of 10

“Playhouse Presents” was a series of standalone dramas, one of which was “Walking the Dogs,” with Emma Thompson playing Queen Elizabeth. The story is based on a true incident about an out-of-work intruder who breaks into Buckingham Palace one morning in 1982 and chats with the monarch while a Buckingham Palace guard has taken her dogs for a walk. The two-time Oscar-winning Thompson also played the queen in the television series “Upstart Crow.”

Source: Clemens Bilan / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Kristin Scott Thomas
> Movie: The Audience (2015)
> Movie IMDb rating: 8.5 out of 10

Kristin Scott Thomas, known for such films as “Gosford Park” and “The English Patient,” succeeded Oscar winner Helen Mirren as the queen in the theater production of the play “The Audience.” The title refers to the weekly meeting between Queen Elizabeth II and the British prime minister.

Source: Courtesy of Atlas Distribution Company

Sarah Gadon
> Movie: A Royal Night Out (2015)
> Movie IMDb rating: 6.5 out of 10

“A Royal Night Out” is a delightful dramedy based on a true story about the princesses Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Margaret (Bel Powley) who joined their subjects in celebration of V-E Day in 1945 in London.

Source: Courtesy of Home Box Office (HBO) (2015)

June Squibb
> Movie: 7 Days in Hell (2015)
> Movie IMDb rating: 7.1 out of 10

“7 Days in Hell” is a randy comedy about a tennis match at Wimbledon that lasts seven days. American actor June Squibb plays the queen who leaves an f-bomb laced phone message for the English player, saying he’s embarrassing the country. She tells him she will make him a knight if he wins.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix (2016-)

Claire Foy
> Movie: The Crown (2016)
> Movie IMDb rating: 8.7 out of 10

Claire Foy originated the role of Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown” and has won an Emmy twice. Foy plays Elizabeth as she was from age 21 in 1947 to age 38 in 1964. Her tenure tells the story of Princess Elizabeth marrying Philip Mountbatten, before she ascended the throne, and it touched on the Suez Crisis; her relationships with prime ministers that included Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, and Harold MacMillan; and her marital difficulties with Prince Philip.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix (2016-)

Olivia Colman
> Movie: The Crown (2016)
> Movie IMDb rating: 8.7 out of 10

Oscar-winning actor Olivia Colman (“The Favorite”) plays a middle-aged Queen Elizabeth II in the series “The Crown.” As the British monarch, she is so unflinchingly committed to duty that she comes off as aloof and out of touch. During this time, the U.K. is absorbed with the Profumo scandal and the Welsh mining disaster, which tests her ability to be sympathetic yet remain dignified. In her role as Elizabeth, Colman was nominated for two Emmys and won one in 2021.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix (2016-)

Imelda Staunton
> Movie: The Crown (2016)
> Movie IMDb rating: 8.7 out of 10

Imelda Staunton portrays an aging Queen Elizabeth in the fifth and sixth seasons of the series. That is the period of the 1990s and beyond, when the queen dealt with the dissolution of three of her children’s marriages and the damaging fire at Windsor Castle. You might remember the Oscar-nominated Staunton for her roles in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and in the first Downton Abbey movie.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix (2016-)

Verity Russell
> Movie: The Crown (2016)
> Movie IMDb rating: 8.7 out of 10

In the series “The Crown,” about the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Verity Russell portrays Princess Elizabeth as a child in the series’ first season. She returned in season 3 to play a 17-year-old Elizabeth. Russell is one of four actors to play Elizabeth in the series.

Source: gregobagel / Getty Images

Maggie Sullivan
> Movie: Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance (2018)
> Movie IMDb rating: 5.4 out of 10

Maggie Sullivan’s Queen Elizabeth II is a staunch upholder of the monarchy in “”Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance.” The Lifetime movie is historical fiction and it covers how Prince Harry and Meghan met, started dating, and eventually got engaged.

Source: Courtesy of Videx International

Julie Walters
> Movie: The Queen’s Corgi (2019)
> Movie IMDb rating: 4.8 out of 10

American audiences know Julie Waters from her appearances in the Harry Potter film and the musical “Mamma Mia!” In 2019, she was the voice of Queen Elizabeth II in the movie “The Queen’s Corgi,” about the monarch’s favorite dog.

Source: Courtesy of Neon (2021)

Stella Gonet
> Movie: Spencer (2021)
> Movie IMDb rating: 6.6 out of 10

Stella Gonet doesn’t get much screen time in “Spencer,” which focuses on the last days of Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles, but she does lend a stately presence as Queen Elizabeth to the film. Gonet also appeared in one of the episodes of the cable television series “The Crown,” about the life of Queen Elizabeth, though not as the monarch.

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