Portraying a legend. Some of the biggest stars in the U.K. have had the honor of portraying the late Queen Elizabeth II in both film and television alike.
Helen Mirren, Olivia Colman and The King’s Speech star 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 Queen and his 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 Foy portraying the sovereign from 1947 to 1955. Foy returned for the second installment of the series, which ran through the birth of Elizabeth’s youngest son Prince Edward in 1964. Seasons 3 and 4 feature Colman as the monarch, following her through Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister and King 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 Crown officially halted production on season 6 in order to mourn the loss of the royal.
“The Crown is a love letter to her and I’ve nothing to add for now, just silence and respect,” Morgan told Deadline in a statement at the 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.”
Following her death, King Charles, who succeeded his mother after her 70-year reign on the throne, shared a personal tribute to the sovereign. “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,” he 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 our knowledge of respect” in which the queen was so “wildly held.”
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Scroll down to see more women who have portrayed Queen Elizabeth II over the years: