10 Actresses Who Ruled the Screen as Queen

Queen Elizabeth II is the current reigning monarch of Great Britain. She is such a force to be reckoned with that her life story is being told as she lives it. Claire Foy portrayed Her Majesty in the first two seasons of The Crown, with Olivia Colman taking over for seasons three and four. Here's a sneak peek of the next installment:


We can look for Colman's reign over TV, beginning on November 17 via Netflix.

Here are 10 other royal portrayals:

1. Cate Blanchett 


Cate Blanchett conquered as Queen Elizabeth I in 1998's Elizabeth. The movie dramatizes her early years, as she learns what it takes to be a monarch. Blanchett is joined by Joseph Fiennes as confidant Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. You can also look for Doctor Who's Christopher Eccleston as the Duke of Norfolk.

2. Helen Mirren


In 2006, Dame Helen Mirren took on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. The biopic begins right after the death of Princess Diana in 1997. She is faced with an onslaught of criticism of how she handled the tragedy and works to regain the loyalty of her people. You can also look for Michael Sheen and James Cromwell.

3. Emily Blunt 


Emily Blunt starred as Queen Victoria in 2009's The Young Victoria. We meet Victoria as a princess, who is about to take the throne. She is stuck between her mother and uncle, who are both trying to win over her trust, and ultimately, her power. The princess, soon to be queen, has her wits about her, though. She realizes she needs to find out who in the court is an ally. We also see a love affair bloom with Prince Albert, played by Rupert Friend.

4. Judi Dench 


Dame Judi Dench also played Queen Victoria, two times actually. In 1997's Mrs. Brown, she takes on the role of Queen Victoria, who has just lost her husband, Albert. She finds comfort in a servant by the name of John Brown (Billy Connolly). And again, in 2017's, Victoria & Abdul, she finds a friend in royal attendant Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal). 

5. Helena Bonham Carter 


In 1986, Helena Bonham Carter took on the role of Lady Jane Grey in Lady Jane. When King Henry VIII dies, there really isn't a suitable heir. His son, Edward VI of England, is on his deathbed himself. Lady Jane finds herself on the throne, but she doesn't agree with how she got there, with her brother Edward being threatened into naming her his heir. She didn't reign all that long, as she is referred to as The Nine Days' Queen. You can also look for Anglo favorite Sir Patrick Stewart as Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk. 

6. Lena Headey


Lena Headey took on the role of Game of Thrones' Cersei Lannister, ultimately becoming Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Let's just say, not all queens care about the people in their kingdom, just that they fall in line. On the other hand, she adores her children and they come first. But, even so, when her two eldest are killed off with poison, she moves on quickly, like the militant queen she is. She has one last child, her youngest, Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman). But she loses his trust, when she kills his wife and her rival Margaery (Natalie Dormer), whilst wiping out most, if not all, of the kingdom. He is so disappointed with his mother, that he kills himself right in front of her. She barely flinches. And in all actuality, his death kind of worked in her favor, allowing her to take the throne. 

7. Vanessa Redgrave 


In 1971, Vanessa Redgrave took on the title role of Mary, Queen of Scots. She starred opposite Glenda Jackson, who played her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. With Mary being Catholic and Elizabeth being Protestant, there was conflict. The two reigned concurrently for over twenty years.

8. Kirsten Dunst


Kirsten Dunst takes on one of the most infamous queens in 2006's Marie Antoinette. The French aristocrat married at 15 and became queen at 19. She was known for her indulgent and expensive taste, overspending on luxuries, while the people in her kingdom starved. She was nicknamed, "Madame Deficit," with her reign coming to an abrupt end in 1793.

9. Idina Menzel 


Idina Menzel provided the voice for Queen Elsa in the 2013 animated movie Frozen. We meet Elsa as a young princess, who has a secret power. She grows up to be queen and one day when she loses her temper, she accidentally turns her kingdom to… ice. She can't face what she's done and runs away. But her sister Anna (Kristen Bell) won't abandon her and goes after her.

10. Olivia Colman 


And, circling back to where we started, with Olivia Colman. She starred as Queen Anne in 2018's The Favourite, winning a Best Actress Oscar for her performance. The story revolves around Anne, who has become quite frail and exhibits poor judgment. She relies on her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) for consult. When a new servant (Emma Stone) arrives, she charms the queen, sending a spark of jealousy through the court.

Who's your queen?