Queen’s lookalikes who have played her – Olivia Colman, Helen Mirren, Claire Foy

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has sadly died at the age of 96 years old.

In the years during her reign, the monarch was portrayed on screen by a number of big name celebrities, including Harry Potter star Emma Thompson and award winners Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.

Their performances captured The Queen during different eras of her reign – from her first years on the throne, through to her later life.

READ MORE: Buckingham Palace statement in full as Queen is 'placed under medical supervision'

Here, Daily Star takes a look at some of the celebrities who have played The Queen.

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren played the royal in the critically acclaimed 2006 film The Queen, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Speaking to Radio Times, Helen revealed that prior to taking on the role, she wrote to The Queen, saying: "I realised we were investigating a profoundly painful part of her life, so I wrote to her.

"I said, 'We are doing this film. We are investigating a very difficult time in your life. I hope it’s not too awful for you.' I can’t remember how I put it. I just said that in my research I found myself with a growing respect for her, and I just wanted to say that."

The Queen herself praised Helen's performance in the film, and as such, subsequently invited the actress to Buckingham Palace following the film's release.

It was not the first time that Helen Mirren played her majesty however, as the actress also portrayed The Queen in stage production The Audience, for which she won a Tony Award.

Helen's role as The Queen followed a long and successful acting career, which saw her appear in theatre productions for The Royal Shakespeare Company and TV series such as Prime Suspect, as well as films including Calendar Girls, Hitchcock, Red, Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw.

She is also due to appear in Shazam! Fury Of The Gods.

The Hollywood icon was awarded a DBE (Damehood) for services to drama in The Queen's 2003 birthday honours.

In her personal life, Helen has been married to Taylor Hackford since 1997.

Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard lent her voice to The Queen, when she played the royal in an episode of animated series The Simpsons.

Eddie is not the only star to have lent her voice to The Queen in an animated film or series however.

Vanessa Redgrave also voiced The Queen in the Pixar animation film Cars 2, where the animated version of The Queen presided over the World Grand Prix in London.

However, although Eddie Izzard has become one of the world's most popular comedians and actors, her career path could have been very different.

Eddie studied A-Level sciences and went on to study accounting at University – but inspired by comedy legends such as the Monty Python team, Eddie left university a year later to pursue a career as a street performer.

After hitting the big time as a comedian, Eddie also made a mark in Hollywood too, appearing in hit blockbuster films including My Super Ex Girlfriend, Five Children and IT, Velvet Goldmine, The Chronicles of Narnia series, Six Minutes to Midnight and TV series Hannibal and Stay Close.

In 2009, the star also ran the length of the UK and clocked up 30 miles a day, running from London to Cardiff to Belfast to Edinburgh and back to London.

In total the challenge was 1,100 miles, which is the equivalent of competing in 43 marathons in just one event – raising over £250,000.

Away from performing, Eddie Izzard is passionate about politics and revealed in 2020 that she aims to be elected as a Labour MP in the next general election, saying that her "worldview is that everyone should have a fair chance in life".

She explained her political ambition during an interview on Tom Watson's Persons of Interest Podcast, saying: "I want to be a Member of Parliament.

"I was trying to get in at the last election. I absolutely, definitely want to get in at a by-election or at the next general election."

Although Eddie Izzard is one of comedy's most well known faces, the star tends to keep her personal life away from the public eye.

She has confirmed in the past that she is single, saying: "Relationship-wise? Oh, this old chestnut.

"No, relationships are tricky. If you're trans and you're touring a lot, it's difficult to put it together. Cause I'm choosy and someone else will be choosy."

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson has played a number of notable roles, including portraying The Queen in the 2012 TV drama Walking The Dogs – about the famous Buckingham Palace break-in during 1982.

One of the world's biggest stars, a talent for performance and writing certainly ran in Emma Thompson's family, as her parents were also famous stars too.

Her mother is the Scottish actress Phyllida Law, who starred in TV series and productions including Dixon of Dock Green, Rumpole Of The Bailey, the original theatre production of La Cage Aux Folles and film Much Ado About Nothing, alongside her daughter Emma.

Meanwhile her father Eric Thompson was the writer and narrator of children's TV classic The Magic Roundabout, before his tragic death aged just 52 years old in 1982.

Emma Thompson has since become one of Britain's most famous actresses, appearing in hit blockbuster films including the Harry Potter series, Sense and Sensibility opposite Hugh Grant, mini series Angels in America and family film Nanny McPhee.

She also worked with her close friend Alan Rickman on multiple occasions, including most famously playing his wife in 2003's Love Actually.

However on January 14 2016, Alan Rickman died from cancer at the age of 69 – with Emma paying tribute to her friend in The New York Times saying: "Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye.

"What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom, and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word."

Most recently, Emma also played a leading role in 2021's hit Disney live action film Cruella.

Her career has also brought romance for Emma too, as well as fame.

In 1987, Emma landed a leading role in the TV miniseries Fortunes Of War, where she met future husband Kenneth Branagh.

The two formed a close professional and personal relationship, appearing alongside one another in theatre productions including A Midsummer Night's Dream, while Kenneth directed her in his award winning film adaption of Henry V.

The couple later married in 1989, but divorced six years later in 1995, citing their work schedules as a reason for their split.

While working on film Sense and Sensibility, Emma Thompson later met her husband Greg Wise – but has since revealed that they did not instantly end up together as Greg was dating her co-star Kate Winslet.

The couple dated shortly afterwards and married in 2003, welcoming daughter Gaia in 1999, and adopting son, Tindyebwa Agaba.

Her family were also in attendance when Emma Thompson was awarded a Damehood in 2018, for her services and contribution to drama.

Claire Foy

Claire Foy famously played a young Queen Elizabeth II in the hit Netflix series The Crown.

Playing The Queen during the early years of her reign, opposite Doctor Who star Matt Smith as Prince Phillip, Claire's performance earned the actress a Golden Globe and Screen Actor's Guild Award for her portrayal.

Prior to her The Crown Fame, Claire landed her professional stage debut at the Royal National Theatre, before appearing in TV series Wolf Hall and Upstairs, Downstairs, as well as films including The Lady In The Van and The Girl In The Spider's Web.

Most recently, Claire played Margaret Campbell in 2021's A Very British Scandal, and appeared in the 2022 film Women Talking.

In her personal life, Claire was married to The History Boys, Ashes To Ashes and War Of The Worlds star Stephen Campbell Moore, with who she has one child.

However four years later, the couple announced their separation in 2018.

Olivia Colman

Following in Claire Foy's footsteps was TV icon Olivia Colman, who played The Queen in The Crown for series three and four.

Like her predecessor, Oliva won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her portrayal, before handing over the role to Imelda Staunton for the upcoming series five of The Crown.

However, prior to her role as The Queen, Olivia was training to be a primary school teacher, before making a career u-turn and leaving college.

She said: "I left the college, but stayed in the town and just cycled around. I worked as a cleaner, went to other people's lectures and did loads of plays.

"And that's when I realized I didn't want to be anything other than an actor."

Olivia later made her name in comedies including Green Wing and That Mitchell and Webb Look, before appearing in Fleabag and Rev.

That's not all, as she also landed roles in huge films including Hot Fuzz, The Iron Lady and The Favourite, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

She also most recently appeared in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Heartstopper.

Like other stars who have played The Queen, Olivia met her husband while working on a production.

While working on a Footlights production of Table Manners, she met writer and law student Ed Sinclair, who she later married in 2001.

Together, the couple have three children.

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Speaking to Hello Magazine, she said it was an instant chemistry between her and Ed straight away, saying: "We were 20 and he was also an actor. If you meet at that age then you're fine. For me it was thunderbolts straight away."

Away from acting, Olivia is also a keen philanthropist and has been an ambassador for charity UNICEF since 2015, becoming its president in 2020.

She has also supported the Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal, as well as becoming a patron for blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan in 2018.

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