Helen Mirren gives an Oscar-winning performance as Queen Elizabeth II in award-winning film The Queen written by Peter Morgan, who has since gone on to write more royal drama in The Crown.
The film centres around the real-life events of 1997, opening with Tony Blair’s landslide general election victory and his promises to modernise the country. Three months later, Diana, Princess of Wales is killed in a car accident and her untimely death ignites a national discussion about the role of the monarchy. There is a national outpouring of grief, with millions of people flocking to London to show their appreciation for the people’s princess.
While flowers and tributes are piled high against the railings of Buckingham and Kensignton Palaces, the Royal Family is out of the public eye and holidaying in Scotland. Diana’s death creates deep divisions between the family members. Prince Charles is keen to give his children’s mother a royal funeral, and the Queen and Prince Philip’s (James Cromwell) believe that her death is a private matter. As the tabloids berate the Royal family for their lack communication, the Queen’s ratings plummet.
However, behind closed doors, Blair does his best to encourage the Queen, whom he greatly admires, to allow the public the chance to openly grieve for the Princess.
Helen Mirren as The Queen
James Cromwell as Prince Philip
Alex Jennings as Prince Charles
Michael Sheen as Tony Blair
Helen McCrory as Cherie Blair
Mark Bazeley as Alastair Campbell
Roger Allam as Robin Janvrin
Sylvia Syms as Queen Mother
Tim McMullan as Stephen Lamport
Robin Soans as Equerry
Lola Peploe as Janvrin’s Secretary
Douglas Reith as Lord Airlie
Joyce Henderson as Balmoral Maid
Pat Laffan as Head Ghillie
Amanda Hadingue as Queen’s Dresser
John McGlynn as Balmoral Head Ghillie
Gray O’Brien as Charles’ Valet
Dolina MacLennan as Balmoral Switchboard Operator
Writer: Peter Morgan
Director: Stephen Frears
Studio: Pathe – Granada Film Production
Year of Release: 2006
Duration: 103 minutes