There really was no one else like Queen Elizabeth II, but there were more than a few performers who did their best to emulate her in their performances as the monarch.
Below, scroll through for a peek at some of the best portrayals of Queen Elizabeth II over the years, and let us know your favorites in the comments section.
10. Fred Armisen in Saturday Night Live
Done in jest, Fred Armisen‘s portrayal of the Queen saw the monarch lean into her power by exhibiting a rougher side of herself. The comedian’s impersonation often included the Queen strong-arming individuals alongside Prince Philip. Among those on the receiving end were Elton John who the queen recruited to play for her grandson Prince William‘s wedding. You can see the full segment, here.
9. Tress MacNeille in The Simpsons
Tress MacNeille voiced the royal figure on more than one occasion for the animated hit series The Simpsons, but the voice performer makes quite an impression as the queen in the Season 15 episode, “The Regina Monologues,” which saw the TV family travel across the pond as they’re welcomed to England by Prime Minister (at the time) Tony Blair.
8. Jane Alexander in William & Catherine: A Royal Romance
Oscar-nominated actress Jane Alexander puts forth a valiant effort as Queen Elizabeth II in the made-for-TV movie William & Catherine: A Royal Romance. Considering the film’s focus on the impending nuptials of Prince William and Kate, Alexander’s portrayal doesn’t get too much time in the spotlight, but just enough to shine.
7. Maggie Sullivan in Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance
Similarly to Alexander, Maggie Sullivan delivered her best version of her majesty the Queen in Lifetime‘s Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. Her likeness to Elizabeth II and the excitement surrounding such a pairing as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle edges out Sullivan’s competition in Alexander by a small measure.
6. Freya Wilson in The King’s Speech
It isn’t often viewers get a glimpse into Queen Elizabeth II’s childhood, but Freya Wilson shined as a young Princess Elizabeth in the Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth as King George VI. Focusing on the King’s challenge to overcome a stammer, the young portrayal of the eventual Queen saw her comfort and support her father through the experience.
5. Sarah Gadon in A Royal Night Out
In this 2015 film, Sarah Gadon plays a young Princess Elizabeth on V.E. Day in 1945. As excitement spreads across Europe, the princess and her sister are permitted to partake in public celebrations leading them on a night full of adventure. Gadon’s portrayal of the future Queen is one we don’t often see, making it quite memorable.
4. Helen Mirren in The Queen
It’s no surprise that Helen Mirren won the Oscar for Best Actress in Leading Role for her moving performance as Queen Elizabeth II in this 2006 film. The conflicted emotions of the monarch were at the forefront of Mirren’s portrayal. Which saw the royal figure grapple with what to do in the wake of Princess Diana’s death.
3. Olivia Colman in The Crown
Olivia Colman is a revelation in nearly every role she tackles. But her Emmy-winning turn in Seasons 3 and 4 of Netflix’s royal drama are certainly a standout. Stepping into the Queen’s past, Colman’s 20-episode run gave her the chance to live in the historical figure’s skin for quite some time which was apparent in her uncanny performance.
2. Claire Foy in The Crown
While Colman was fabulous as Queen Elizabeth II, her predecessor, Claire Foy, remains a benchmark in a masterful portrayal of the royal figure. Playing the Queen from her early years wed to Prince Philip through her ascension to the throne, Foy’s performance exhibits such range as Elizabeth goes from bright-eyed princess to focused ruler.
1. Queen Elizabeth II in The Olympics
Finally, who could play Queen Elizabeth II better than the Queen herself?! While the monarch made many television appearances over the years, none have been quite as memorable as the sketch she participated in for the 2012 Olympics alongside Daniel Craig playing his James Bond role. Flanked by her beloved corgis, the Queen stands tall as she leads the way in this truly sweet and uniting segment. Check it out here.