Historical films and series, crazy comedies, animated films and series, documentaries… Queen Elizabeth II of England has sometimes been the central character, sometimes one of the protagonists, or a simple “guest-star”, in countless film and television productions over the decades. Here are some examples.
“The Queen”, film by Stephen Frears (2006)
After Lady Diana’s death, crowds pile up bouquets of flowers outside Buckingham Palace. Without succeeding in filling the void left by Elizabeth II by her absence. In The Queendirector Stephen Frears takes a cold look at a very hot topic: Elizabeth II’s reaction to the death of her former daughter-in-law.
Immersed in the corridors of power, the spectator witnesses the balance of power between the royal family, reluctant to react, and Tony Blair, just appointed Prime Minister, who intends to satisfy public opinion in mourning. For her interpretation of the Queen, Helen Mirren will be rewarded with the Oscar for best actress.
“The Crown”, series by Peter Morgan (launched in 2016)
For the first time with The Crown, a series is entirely devoted to the life of a monarch, Elisabeth II, and her entourage. The series may be a work of fiction, but it remains faithful to the reality of this extraordinary family. The royal residences, the sets and the costumes make it possible to accurately trace their intimate life. Here, no risk of spoiling, small family stories mingle with major world events: the last years of Churchill, the Suez Canal affair, the coming to power of Margaret Thatcher.
Welcome to the heart of the reactor. But the story is not only about the royal palace but also about the relationship to politics and developments in British society. Season 1 unfolds the queen’s early years, from marriage to Philip in 1947 to the couple’s turmoil in 1955. The viewer experiences the rise of the very young queen up close after the death of her father. The relationship to history is incisive. Season 2 then offers a dive into their intimacy. The childhood of the Duke of Edinburgh is recounted at length, showing a largely unknown facet of the man. Season 3, the scandals continue with the divorce of Princess Margaret, sister of Elizabeth II, and the meeting between Prince Charles and Camilla Shand. But everything changes in season 4 with the arrival of two women: Diana Spencer and Margaret Thatcher. Season 5 of The Crown, closest to us, is expected in November 2022 on Netflix.
“The King’s Speech”, film by Tom Hooper (2010)
Elizabeth II is not the main character of this very successful film (original title: The King’s Speech), but we discover the future Queen of England in her relationship with her beloved father, George VI (played by Colin Firth), plagued by his speech anxieties, a stutter that is difficult to reconcile with public commitments at the highest level. on the eve of World War II. The future monarch, pushed to the wall by the abdication of his brother, overcomes his handicap with the support of the re-educator Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush).
“Is there a cop to save the queen?”, film by David Zucker (1988)
Police are in charge of protecting the Queen during her visit to Los Angeles, while a criminal organization plans to assassinate her on this occasion. Adaptation of the television series Police Squad (1982) produced by the same caustic team, this American comedy (original title: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!) features the hilarious Leslie Nielsen, Ricardo Montalban, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy and the unmissable Jeannette Charles, an actress specializing in the role of Elizabeth II for forty years because of her resemblance to her. A burlesque and crazy comedy, indescribable.
“The Good Big Giant”, film by Steven Spielberg (2016)
Even Steven Spielberg will have slipped the character of the Queen of England into one of his films… That said, it was not his idea: The Good Big Giant (Where The BGG) is an adaptation of a novel by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the chocolate factory). Elizabeth II offers a salutary intervention in this pretty tale for young people.
“Johnny English”, film by Peter Howitt (2003)
Another comedy involving the Queen of England and the fate of the monarchy, Johnny English, a parody of James Bond released in 2003. Who better than Rowan Atkinson, the interpreter of Mr Bean, could embark on this adventure? In this totally burlesque spy film, the Queen of England is the victim of blackmail on the background of the theft of the crown jewels (definitely very coveted, both in fiction and in real life).
“A Queen is crowned”, documentary by Christopher Fry (1953)
This historic Technicolor documentary recounts the coronation of Queen Elizabeth on June 2, 1953. The narrator is none other than Laurence Olivier, one of the greatest British film and theater actors of the 20th century. In 1954, this film was nominated for the Oscar for best documentary film at the 26th American Academy of Motion Picture Awards. The first documentary Golden Globe was awarded to him in 1953. The film has been restored for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, celebrated in June 2022. It is currently available on the Apple TV platform.
“The Minions”, animated film by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin (2015)
Elizabeth II, pop icon, also appears in the world of animation. In the American-French-Japanese film Minions (original title : minions), the strange yellow characters of the franchise who cross time are involved in a criminal project, that of the theft of the crown of England. The opportunity to see the Queen as an animated character.
“Royal Corgi”, animated film by Ben Stassen and Vincent Kesteloot (2019)
Elizabeth II and her legendary passion for corgi dogs inspired a Belgian animated film released in 2019. In this film, Rex, the monarch’s favorite corgi, inadvertently bites US President Donald Trump and ends up far from the palace of Buckingham, to live a whole bunch of adventures before finding his beloved mistress…
Elizabeth II, distinguished guest of the “Simpsons”… who almost killed her
A little reminder, finally, of this episode in which the Simpsons’ car accidentally crashes into the coach of the Queen of England, nearly ending her reign prematurely… Beaten up by Her Majesty’s guards, Homer Simpson finds himself in court facing a monarch wearing a neckerchief adorned with diamonds, not very indulgent towards the slightly mocking driver: “Destroy Him!” (“Destroy it”), she says. “America rules!” (“America dominates”, in essence), replies the accused evacuated from the room, reviving the old story between the United Kingdom and its former colony. Elizabeth II has appeared in other episodes of the animated series, spanning some 33 seasons.