The role of a legend. Many of the most famous stars in the U.K. had the privilege of portraying Queen Elizabeth II on television and film.
Helen Mirren, Olivia Colman The King’s SpeechStar Freya Wilson are among the A-list actresses who have depicted the monarch on screen —a number that has only grown since the 2016 debut of Netflix’s critically acclaimed series The Crown.
The historical drama follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II — who died at age 96 in September 2022 — throughout the various chapters of her life. Created by Peter Morgan, the series was developed from the writer’s 2006 film The QueenHis 2016 stage play The Audience.
The first season of the drama covers the period from Elizabeth’s marriage to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with Claire FoyFoy portrays the sovereign from 1947-1955. Foy returned for the second installment of the series, which ran through the birth of Elizabeth’s youngest sonPrince Edward1964. Seasons 3 and 4 feature Colman as the monarch, following her through Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister and Prince Charles’ marriage to Lady Diana Spencer. Imelda Staunton took over the role for the show’s fifth and sixth seasons, covering the queen’s reign into the 21st century.
Following Elizabeth’s death,The CrownSeason 6 production was officially halted to mourn the loss.
“The Crown is a love letter to her and I’ve nothing to add for now, just silence and respect,” Morgan told DeadlineIn a statement at that time. “I expect we will stop filming out of respect too.”
News of Elizabeth’s passing initially came in a statement from Buckingham Palace that revealed she had “died peacefully” just hours after revealing that she had been placed under medical supervision. “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” read a statement. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Prince Charles, his mother’s successor after a 70-year reign, paid tribute to her in a personal message. “The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the Prince of Wales, 73, began in a statement. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
The king added that he and his family would be “comforted and sustained by the knowledge of respect” in which the queen was so “wildly regarded.”
Scroll down for more women who have played Queen Elizabeth II through the years.