How 14 actors who’ve played Queen Elizabeth compare to the real-life monarch

Queen Elizabeth (left) and Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth in 'The Crown.'
Queen Elizabeth (left) and Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth in ‘The Crown.’ Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images, Netflix
  • Queen Elizabeth has been portrayed in roughly 100 films and TV shows, according to IMDb.
  • Netflix just shared its first look at Imelda Staunton’s portrayal of the Queen in “The Crown.”
  • Helen Mirren and Emma Thompson, both appointed dames by the Queen, have taken on the iconic role.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Freya Wilson played a very young Princess Elizabeth in “The King’s Speech.”
The kings speech elizabeth
Freya Wilson played Elizabeth, while Ramona Marquez played her younger sister, Margaret. The Weinstein Company
“The King’s Speech,” which won four Oscars in 2011, centered around Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI.
Here’s Princess Elizabeth in 1933, before she became queen.
Queen elizabeth young
A young Queen Elizabeth in 1933. AP
Wilson’s curled hair and ruffled outfit created an accurate portrayal of the future queen.
Sarah Gadon played a teenage Princess Elizabeth in “A Royal Night Out.”
Sarah gadon queen elizabeth
Sarah Gadon. Lionsgate Films
It’s based on the true story of when the princess covertly partied with commoners the night World War II ended.
Gadon resembled then-Princess Elizabeth, who was a truck mechanic and driver for the Auxiliary Territorial Service, a women’s branch of the British Army.
Queen elizabeth young
Princess Elizabeth in uniform in 1945. AP
In the bizarre World War II parody film “Churchill: The Hollywood Years,” Neve Campbell also played Princess Elizabeth.
Neve Campbell queen elizabeth
Neve Campbell. Pathe Pictures
Campbell is known for her roles in the “Scream” movies, and she most recently appeared in Justin Baldoni’s tear-jerker “Clouds.” 
The real royal also wore tiaras and sashes with ball gowns in her youth.
Queen elizabeth crown young
Queen Elizabeth. Keystone/Getty Images
The Crown Jewels, dating back to the 1600s, are on display at the Tower of London.
In the first two seasons of Netflix’s “The Crown,” Claire Foy portrayed Elizabeth in the early days of her reign.
The crown netflix show claire foy
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II. Netflix/IMDb
Here’s how the rest of the cast compares to the real-life royals they portray.
Foy strongly resembled Queen Elizabeth when she took the throne at age 25.
Queen elizabeth ii coronation
Queen Elizabeth at 25 years old. Associated Press
“The Crown” recreated Queen Elizabeth’s coronation outfit in painstaking detail.
Olivia Colman also played the Queen for two seasons of “The Crown.”
The Crown Olivia Colman Queen Elizabeth Liam Daniel Netflix
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth. Liam Daniel/Netflix
Colman said it was one of her most difficult roles because “behind closed doors, we don’t know what she’s like,” and that she was “quite pleased” to move on after playing the monarch for two seasons, according to Radio Times.
Colman embodied the Queen’s stoic salute on horseback.
Queen elizabeth trooping the colour
Queen Elizabeth in 1985. PA Images via Getty Images
The Queen saluted the Household Guards regiments during the annual Trooping of the Colour ceremony in London, which marks her official birthday, in 1985.
Emma Thompson took on the role for an episode of the BBC series “Playhouse Presents.”
Emma thompson queen elizabeth
Emma Thompson. BBC
Thompson appeared in a fictional tale about an intruder breaking into the Queen’s residence.
Thompson mastered Queen Elizabeth’s facial expressions.
Queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth in 1977. Serge Lemoine/Getty Images
The Queen appointed Thompson a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2018.
Jeannette Charles is a famous Queen Elizabeth look-alike.
Queen elizab
Jeannette Charles. Evening Standard/Getty Images
She played the Queen for dozens of projects, including “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and “Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!”
Charles nailed Queen Elizabeth’s outfits and mannerisms.
Queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth in 1972. AFP via Getty Images
From the hat to the brooch to the tailored suit, Charles looked just like Queen Elizabeth.
The UK’s Channel 4 hired five actresses for “The Queen,” a 2009 docu-drama about trying moments in Elizabeth’s reign.
Barbara Flynn queen elizabeth
Barbara Flynn. Channel 4
Barbara Flynn (pictured), Samantha Bond, Emilia Fox, Susan Jameson, and Diana Quick all took turns playing the monarch.
Barbara Flynn’s portrayal of the Queen reenacted pivotal moments from her life in 1992, the year of her silver jubilee.
Queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth in 2018. Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth would later refer to this year as her “annus horribilis” as it included three of her children’s marriages ending in scandal and a fire that damaged Windsor Castle.
Helen Mirren won an Oscar for her portrayal of Elizabeth in 2006’s “The Queen,” which tells the story of the royal family’s response to Princess Diana’s death in 1997.
Helen mirren queen
Helen Mirren. Pathé Pictures
Mirren has played both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II.
From the hair to the glasses, Mirren’s portrayal of the Queen was uncanny.
Queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth appointed Mirren a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003.
In July 2021, Netflix shared its first look as Imelda Staunton as the Queen for seasons five and six of “The Crown.” She’ll portray her from the 1990s to 2003.
Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in the upcoming season of Netflix's The Crown
Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth in the upcoming season of ‘s ‘The Crown.’ Netflix
“As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan’s scripts. I am genuinely honored to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking ‘The Crown’ to its conclusion,” Staunton told The Hollywood Reporter.
Staunton bears a striking resemblance to the real Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth in 2007
Queen Elizabeth in 2007. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
With her coiffed hair and yellow tweed, Staunton channeled the famous monarch.
Jane Alexander took a turn as the Queen in the Hallmark Channel’s TV movie “William & Catherine: A Royal Romance.”
Jane alexander queen elizabeth
Jane Alexander. Hallmark
The Hallmark movie chronicled Prince William and Kate Middleton’s love story.
Alexander’s perfectly coiffed hair, subtle makeup, and polished outfit reflected Queen Elizabeth’s aesthetic.
Queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth in 2007. POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images
The Hallmark film featured Queen Elizabeth offering Prince William and Middleton some royal advice.
“SNL” actor Fred Armisen played a bawdy, foul-mouthed version of the Queen in several sketches.
Fred armisen queen elizabeth snl
Fred Armisen. NBC
In a 2011 sketch, the Queen and her husband angrily confront newly married William and Kate.
“SNL” did get the Queen’s lavender outfit and accessories right.
Queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth in 2017. Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images
The Queen is known for her bright, monochromatic suits.
Andy Samberg’s tennis mockumentary “7 Days in Hell” featured June Squibb as a very intimidating version of Queen Elizabeth II.
June Squibb Queen Elizabeth
June Squibb. HBO
We’re pretty sure the real Queen wouldn’t flip the bird at Wimbledon, as depicted in the trailer
The actual Queen Elizabeth behaves in a much more distinguished fashion.
Queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth in 2017. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
Squibb’s outfit, complete with pearls and an embellished hat, were reminiscent of the Queen’s style.
Maggie Sullivun will reprise her role as the famous monarch in the third installment of Lifetime’s TV movies about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Actress Maggie Sullivun as Queen Elizabeth
Maggie Sullivun. Lifetime
Sullivun played Queen Elizabeth in “Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance” and “Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal.” She will play the Queen again in “Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace” airing later this year.
Queen Elizabeth has remained in touch with Harry and Markle after their departure from royal life.
Queen Elizabeth 2018 Christmas Day message
Queen Elizabeth in 2018. REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool
In their interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, Harry said he and Markle spoke with Queen Elizabeth about their intent to step back from royal duties several times during a two-year period.

“I’ve never blindsided my grandmother,” he said. “I have too much respect for her.”

The couple also named their daughter, Lilibet, after the Queen.