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(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

HBO has released the first official photo from Catherine the Great, and it’s a reminder for any fans of The Crown just who the real queen is.

Dame Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for her performance as Queen Elizabeth in The Queen and played her again in The Audience, is once again shown resplendent in regal garb, this time as 18th-century Russian Empress, Catherine the Great.

(Photo: HBO)

Claire who? (Just kidding, Claire Foy, we love you.)

The new four-part drama will depict Catherine in her later years, when she wielded supreme power throughout Russia and conducted a “passionate affair” with military commander Grigory Potemkin.

It’s just started filming in Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, meaning we now have more details on the cast. We already knew Potemkin will be played by Jason Clarke, Dame Helen’s co-star in the recent Winchester, with Howards End‘s Joseph Quinn playing Catherine’s son and heir Paul.

Also joining Dame Helen are Bond’s Rory Kinnear as the strategist Panin, Notting Hill and Phantom Thread‘s Gina McKee as confidante Countess Bruce, Nashville star Sam Palladio and Hacksaw Ridge‘s Richard Roxburgh as more of Catherine’s lovers.

It sounds like quite a story. And with Dame Helen producing as well as starring in it, you can bet it’ll be royally good.

Catherine the Great is expected to air in 2019.

Are you excited to see Dame Helen back on a throne?

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Filed Under: Dame Helen Mirren
By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.