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The eight best portrayals of The Queen in TV and film

The Queen has been portrayed in TV shows and films over the years by an array of actresses. Whether they have played her on the small screen, in blockbuster films or voiced animated versions of her, there have been some iconic portrayals.

Phoebe Barton takes a look back at some of the most well-known, unforgettable and often quirky performances that have brought the Queen to life.

1. Claire Foy (The Crown)

Netflix chose British actress Claire Foy to take on the huge task of playing the Queen in their drama The Crown. Foy completely became the Queen, ensuring every detail was captured including her voice and mannerisms. The actress was nominated for an Emmy award for the role, and is now passing the baton on to Olivia Coleman who will play the Queen in the next series of The Crown.

2. Helen Mirren (The Queen)

For her portrayal of Her Majesty in the 2006 film The Queen, Helen Mirren won the Oscar for Best Actress. The film focuses on the Queen’s struggles after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and also stars Michael Sheen as Tony Blair. Mirren later reprised her role as the Queen but this time on stage in The Audience which was on Broadway and the West End from 2013 to 2015.

3. Emma Thompson (Walking the Dogs)

Emma Thompson played the Queen in this TV special that was only 30 minutes long. The short film is based on the time an intruder broke into the Queen’s bedroom at Buckingham Palace. Surprisingly, all that occurred was a polite chat until the palace guards arrived to arrest the intruder.

4. Freya Wilson (The King’s Speech)

The King’s Speech won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2011, and Freya Wilson had the task of playing the Queen when she was a young girl and known as Princess Elizabeth. The film focuses on her fathers challenge to overcome his stutter, and it was Wilson’s first big acting job.

5. Sarah Gadon (A Royal Night Out)

This fun comedy drama focuses on a young Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret leaving the palace to join in the V.E. Day celebrations in 1945. Gadon’s portrayal of the young Queen is quite different to other portrayals due to it showing a quirky version of Her Majesty as she ventures into the real world to party with the public.

6. Jennifer Saunders (Minions)

The Queen has been made into an animated character quite a few times, but my favourite has to be Jennifer Saunders voicing Her Majesty in the much-loved children’s film Minions. The minions wreak havoc during the Queen’s carriage procession, with the minions taking over her carriage. Her Majesty fights with one unlucky minion that clearly picked a fight with the wrong monarch.

7. Jeanette Charles (National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Austin Powers in Goldmember)

 Jeanette Charles was the official impersonator of the Queen for many years before her retirement in 2014. Throughout her career that spanned over 40 years, Charles portrayed the Queen in a number of films that made her acting career a fairly successful one. As well as starring in films, she often appeared on TV shows as the Queen, including reality show Big Brother.

8. Tress MacNeille, Maggie Roswell and Eddie Izzard (The Simpsons)

The Simpsons have often included the Queen in their episodes for numerous gags. Tress MacNeille and Maggie Roswell voiced Her Majesty in the past, but Eddie Izzard also got given the honour of voicing her in the episode To Surveil With Love. Although Izzard doesn’t appear to be the go-to person for voicing the Queen, he offered a comedic quirky version of the character.