From Oscar-winning biopics to TV documentaries, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to depictions of HRH on screen.
Here’s a handful of the best – and a couple of less conventional picks for any republicans out there looking for some alternative Jubilee messaging.
Helen Mirren’s acting career is about as regal as they come; she’s played queens on many occasions, including Elizabeth II multiple times. The most famous instance came in this 2006 biopic, for which Mirren won the Best Actress Oscar.
The Majestic Life of Queen Elizabeth II
This feature-length documentary blends archival footage and “expert interviews” to retell the life of our monarch, following Elizabeth’s story from childhood to her long and illustrious reign.
Prince Philip: An Extraordinary Life
Another TV movie, listed under Netflix’s “sentimental” category, focuses on the life of the late Prince Philip. Naturally, there’s plenty about the Queen in there too; her close personal bond with Philip is surely well-known to any devotees of the royals out there.
The King’s Speech
Another Oscar-winning movie, 2010’s The King’s Speech focuses primarily on King George VI. For any fans of the royal family out there, it’s surely a treat: one of the best royal-themed films there’s been in the last couple of decades. Elizabeth does in fact feature in the film, too, albeit as a child, played by Freya Wilson.
Elizabeth & Margaret: Love & Loyalty
This documentary looks at the relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and her younger sister, Margaret. It’s a side of the monarch that some viewers may be less familiar with – though this might be a hard sell for anyone who’s not seriously interested in the interpersonal dynamics of the Windsor family.
The Royal House of Windsor
This serialised documentary has a bit of a broader scope than some of the other docs on this list; the past 100 years of the royal family are charted across the course of six episodes, with the tone taking on something more like an investigative stance.
One of the most (surprisingly) controversial depictions of Queen Elizabeth ever committed to film, The Crown is one of the jewels of Netflix’s tiara. A handsomely made series spanning more or less Elizabeth’s entire life, The Crown was at the centre of a PR blizzard last season, with critics arguing that it had deviated troublingly from historical fact. Nonetheless, as royal dramas go, this is certainly a winner – smart, glossy, and a lot shrewder than it could have been.
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
If you’re sick and tired of the same old starchy royal dramas, it might be worth dipping into David Zucker’s daffy 1988 comedy, which starred Leslie Nielsen as an incompetent police detective out to foil a plot to assassinate the queen. Elizabeth is played ably by Jeannette Charles – the sight of her attending a baseball game remains one of cinema’s most amusing spins on the monarch.