This weekend, Olivia Colman is up for Best Actress at the Golden Globes for her portrayal of Queen Anne in ‘The Favourite’, the first time anyone has been nominated for playing the last Stuart monarch. Anne, who ruled between 1702 and 1714, hasn’t found favour with filmmakers in the past but that doesn’t mean that rulers don’t, well, rule at the Globes, the first major movie prizes of every awards season. In the past, portrayals of some of Britain’s most famous regnants and consorts have been in the running for some top acting gongs. Here’s a look at the queenly parts that are most likely to lead to Globe success.
Queen Elizabeth I
The Virgin Queen leads the way when it comes to taking home a Golden Globe. Two portrayals of her have bagged top billing. In 1998, Cate Blanchett won Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) for her portrayal of Gloriana in ‘Elizabeth’. Helen Mirren was awarded Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for her 2006 interpretation of the Tudor powerhouse in ‘Elizabeth I’.
Being Elizabeth has also bagged nominations aplenty. Cate Blanchett was given a nod in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) category again in 2007 after playing Elizabeth I in ‘The Golden Age’ while Glenda Jackson was nominated for the same prize in 1971 for her portrayal of Elizabeth in ‘Mary, Queen of Scots’. And there was a nod for Dame Judi Dench in 1998 in the Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture category for her turn as Elizabeth in ‘Shakespeare in Love’.
Not far behind Gloriana in the glory at the globes stakes is our own Queen. Playing Elizabeth II has been an award rich experience in recent years. Helen Mirren famously won Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) for her performance in ‘The Queen’ while Claire Foy was also a winner, as Best Actress – Television Series Drama, for her portrayal of a young Elizabeth II in ‘The Crown’.
Her 2016 win was followed by another nomination for the same part in 2017. And with Olivia Colman set to take over that role this year, who’s to say that more nods won’t follow?
The queen empress would be most amused by how well actresses bringing her to life on the big screen have gone at the Golden Globes. Dame Judi Dench won Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) in 1997 for playing the second longest reigning monarch in British history in ‘Mrs Brown’ while she was nominated in the Musical or Comedy category for another portrayal of the same queen in 2017 for her role in ‘Victoria and Abdul’. In 2009, Emily Blunt was nominated in Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) for her role as the queen in ‘The Young Victoria’.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
The consort who wielded more power than most regnants put together has given two of the most influential actresses ever to grace the screen glory at the Golden Globes. In 1968, Katherine Hepburn was nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) for playing Eleanor in ‘The Lion in Winter’. In 2003, the TV remake of that famous film saw Glenn Close take on the part of Henry II’s queen and bag a the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for her portrayal.
It’s Not the Winning That Counts
Other queenly roles have provided nominations for actresses at the Golden Globes. In 1971, Vanessa Redgrave was also given a nod in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) category for taking the title role in ‘Mary, Queen of Scots’. Given the drama of her life, it’s perhaps surprising that Anne Boleyn has only provided one Golden Globe appearance for an actress – in 1969, Genvieve Bujold won Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) for her performance as the doomed second queen of Henry VIII in ‘’Anne of the Thousand Days’’.
More recently, Helena Bonham Carter was nominated as Best Supporting Actress in a Movie for her portrayal of the Queen Mother in ‘The King’s Speech’ in 2010. On the small screen, there was a nomination in 2013 for Rebecca Ferguson as Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for her role as Elizabeth Woodville, first consort of the House of York, in the acclaimed ‘The White Queen’. And in 2004, Miranda Richardson got a nod in the same category for playing Queen Mary in Stephen Poliakoff’s ‘The Lost Prince’.
Overall, queenly roles have had a reasonably good showing at the Golden Globes. It remains to be seen whether Olivia Colman can add Queen Anne to the list of winners as Hollywood’s awards season gets well and truly under way.