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Best movies and TV shows to watch about Queen Elizabeth II

Today marks the tragic passing of Queen Elizabeth II, with people around the globe mourning the death of the English monarch. With her reign spanning over 70 years, the Queen remained a beloved political figure despite enduring much criticism and hardship throughout her life.

As a result, Elizabeth was the subject of multiple films and TV series, from prestige Netflix shows to illuminating documentaries, some of which will be listed below for those seeking to look back on the Queen’s life and her extraordinary legacy.

The Crown (2016)

The Crown
5 Seasons
Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin, Tobias Menzies
Created by
Peter Morgan
Watch on Netflix
The Crown Season 4 | Official Trailer | Netflix

This widely acclaimed Netflix series chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II, with Claire Foy and Olivia Colman portraying her in different periods of her life. Following her through her wedding to Prince Philip, the birth of Prince Edward, the rise of Margaret Thatcher, and the many conflicts and scandals in-between, The Crown remains one of the world’s most popular and riveting historical dramas, despite its inaccuracies.

This show is scheduled to release its fifth season in November this year, with Imelda Staunton taking the reigns as Elizabeth, so one can only imagine how the show will proceed now that the Queen has passed.

The Queen (2006)

The Queen
Drama, History
Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell
Directed by
Stephen Frears
Watch on Hulu
The Queen | Official Trailer (HD) - Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen | MIRAMAX

If anyone is worthy of portraying the Queen on film, it’s Helen Mirren. This 2006 film follows the Royal Family in the wake of Princess Diana’s tragic death, with Elizabeth’s reluctance to make a statement and address her people casting a burning spotlight on herself and her loved ones.

Much like how the world is reacting now, this film shows everyone struggling with such a great loss, which is only made worse for the Queen due to political and public pressure. Mirren won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Elizabeth II, which alone warrants glimpsing into this gripping account of one of the most agonizing moments in the Queen’s life.

The Queen (2009)

The Queen
1 Season
Documentary, Drama
Samantha Bond, Emilia Fox, Katie McGrath
Watch on

This made-for-TV docudrama ran for five episodes, with each one depicting the Queen during a significant moment in her life. Much like in The Crown, Elizabeth is portrayed by multiple actors, including Emilia Fox, Samantha Bond, Susan Jameson, Barbara Flynn, and Diana Quick. Though it isn’t as well-known as the former Netflix hit, this overlooked serial is still worth a watch for those wanting to revisit the Queen’s story. It’s not available to stream, but you can watch it the old-fashioned way: on a DVD.

A Royal Night Out (2015)

A Royal Night Out
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Emily Watson
Directed by
Julian Jarrold
Watch on Hulu
A Royal Night Out - Official UK Trailer - In Cinemas Now!

In a reversal of Cinderella, this film follows a teenage Princess Elizabeth going out on a night on the town with her sister, Margaret, to celebrate Europe’s victory against the Nazis. A Royal Night Out is a hilarious and unusual depiction of the Queen’s life as she and her sister lose each other during their wild evening as civilians. It shows how the Queen, at her core, was an ordinary woman who wanted to be free and have enjoy life like everyone else.

Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen (2022)

Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, King George VI of the United Kingdom, King George V of the United Kingdom
Directed by
Simon Finch
Watch on Apple TV+

Released just this year for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, this TV documentary reveals over an hour’s worth of home videos of Elizabeth and her family never seen before by the public. The film presents footage of Elizabeth when she was an infant, when she first traveled abroad with her family, and when she was engaged to Prince Philip. Following Elizabeth through actual moments of her life will make for a surreal but tearful experience for anyone watching, especially now. May the Queen rest in peace.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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