Elizabeth Hurley is the Queen of England. That’s a sentence you probably thought you would never hear, but she plays Queen Helena, the head of the British monarchy, in E!’s first original scripted series The Royals. Helena isn’t your grandmum’s queen; she’s fashion forward and all about having fun. She doesn’t apologize for anything, but she is the Queen after all. The Royals premieres on E! on Sunday, March 15. Here are five movie depictions of British women who are also large and in charge:
1. William & Kate
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was formerly known as Kate Middleton. Middleton was like any young person starting their first year at university, but as chances had it, Prince William also enrolled at the same school. Even before being becoming a royal, Middleton stood out from the crowd. Her relationship with the prince started off as a friendship, and she wasn’t a “groupie” like some of the girls flocking to him, as seen in the Lifetime biopic William & Kate.
Naomi Watts takes on the title role in the film depiction of Princess Diana‘s final two years leading up to her fatal car accident. The film depicts her romantic relationships following her separation from Prince Charles and the royal family.
3. The Queen
The 2006 release of The Queen depicts the royal family’s reaction to the unexpected death of Princess Diana. In the feature-length film, Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) finds herself at odds with Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen). The Queen believes Diana’s death is a private matter and should be handled discreetly. Blair, on the other hand, describes Diana as “the people’s princess” and believes the nation needs to hear from the monarchy to help them through the mourning process.
4. The Young Victoria
Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Kent (Emily Blunt) realizes she is in line for the throne at the age of 11. She begins to daydream about what was to come. As she grows older and closer to becoming queen, the men in her life compete for her attention and control of her decisions. Well, not everyone: Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) respects the young princess as an individual, and only wants one thing, her love.
Cate Blanchett leads an all-star cast in the 1998 biopic of Queen Elizabeth I, also starring Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, John Gielgud and Richard Attenborough. When Elizabeth took the throne in 1558, the nation was in an uproar, divided between Catholics and Protestants. The Queen sought a way to appease the civil unrest amongst her subjects. Her advisors advised her to marry, but she refused to have a “master” and remained the sole ruler during her reign. She was the last monarch of the Tudor Dynasty.
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