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Best films and TV series about Queen Elizabeth II

In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II marked seven decades as the head of the British monarchy. While British broadcasters are lining up the festive events, let us remember films and TV series about Britain's longest-serving monarch. Each of them highlights some episodes from the life of Elizabeth II, her husband Philip Mountbatten, as well as her 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Here's a handful of the best TV shows about the legendary queen.

Best films and TV series about Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen

Italy, France, 2006

"The Queen" is a biopic directed by Stephen Frears and written by Peter Morgan. The film depicts how Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales in a car accident. The public wants to hear from the royal family an official expression of grief but the Queen hesitates. Prime Minister Tony Blair warns the Queen, secluded in Balmoral Castle, that such behavior will be condemned by the British. Helen Mirren, who played Queen Elizabeth in the film, received several awards, including Oscar for Best Actress and two best actress Golden Globes. She was named best actress at the Venice film festival. The film was nominated for an Oscar as the Best Film of the Year.

Best films and TV series about Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen

UK, 2009

In 5 episodes of this documentary, five outstanding British actresses Emilia Fox, Samantha Bond, Susan Jameson, Barbara Flynn, and Diana Quickportray portrayed the Queen at pivotal moments in her reign. They tried to show different facets of Elizabeth’s personality. The showrunners shot each episode about the momentous events of the Queen's life: the romance of Princess Margaret with Peter Townsend, the rise of Republicanism in the late 60s, sanctions against South Africa, and her tense relationship with Mrs. Thatcher, the consequences of the separation of Charles and Diana, and the acceptance of Camilla Parker-Bowles into the royal family. Despite the positive feedback, some episodes were perceived by critics as overly dramatized.

Best films and TV series about Queen Elizabeth II

A Royal Night Out

UK, 2015

A Royal Night Out is a British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Julian Jarrold. The story tells about the fictional adventures of Queen Elizabeth played by Sarah Gadon with her sister Margarethe. The princesses, indeed, accompanied by officers, went to the city incognito on the night of May 9, 1945, to celebrate Victory Day but returned on time. In the film, after having received permission, they are going out into the crowds at Buckingham Palace. However, only Margaret returns to Buckingham Palace the next morning, having no idea where her sister could have gone.

The title of the film refers to the "Roman Holiday" by William Wyler. Many critics note that the actress, who performed the explosive, frivolous, and eager for entertainment Margaret, stole the thunder, drawing the audience’s attention to herself.

Best films and TV series about Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth at 90: A Family Tribute.

UK, 2016

This is another television documentary made to commemorate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The director, John Bridcut, used not only archival footage but also videos shot by the Queen herself, Prince Charles, Princess Margaret, etc. These private materials have never been shown to the public. They were taken from the monarch's personal archive. The footage shown was interspersed with members of the British royal family commenting on the films. Thanks to such projects, the distance between ordinary citizens and monarchs is somewhat erased. People see them as real human beings without a cold and mysterious facade. Critics gave positive reviews to the documentary.

Best films and TV series about Queen Elizabeth II

The Crown

UK, first season (6 episodes), 2016,

The script for this historical drama series from Netflix was also written by Peter Morgan.

The series begins with Elizabeth's wedding to Prince Philip, which took place 5 years before the coronation. Claire Foy portrayed the Queen in the first 2 seasons. For the third and fourth seasons, Olivia Colman took over as the Queen. Elizabeth herself was pleased with the first season. The second one, which ended with the birth of Prince Edward, disappointed her. The fourth season has already been released. The fifth season with Imelda Staunton will be streamed in November 2022. The sixth will narrate the events of the late 1990s – early 2010s.

"The Crown" won a significant number of awards, including 7 Golden Globes, 10 Emmy Awards, etc. Critics highly praised the TV Show for directing, acting, cinematography, as well as a historically accurate depiction of the reign of Elizabeth II.

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