We are all pretty fascinated by the royal family, so it seems hardly surprising that their story, and the stories of their predecessors, have been told time and time again through film and television. Whether through award-winning shows like The Crown, or films that chronicle one particular event like The Queen, our interest in the monarchy is shared by some of the best and brightest in Hollywood, who took on the challenge of these iconic roles. Click through our gallery to see which stars played members of the royal family - some may surprise you!
Jenna Coleman – Queen Victoria
The Doctor Who actress has proved popular by playing Queen Victoria in the ITV show, Victoria. Speaking about getting into the role, she told Harper's Bazaar: "I think, like most people, it was of the black, stern photographs we see of her. I knew she was known for being a passionate young queen and spirited, but I didn't really know her character at all. I was really surprised and I think I keep on being surprised, actually, the more I learn about her."
Claire Foy – The Queen
Claire Foy portrayed the Queen for the first two seasons of the critically acclaimed Netflix show The Crown, where she portrays her Majesty as she ascends to the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, and struggles with her marriage to Prince Philip in the wake of her new role. Speaking about the show, Claire told Town and Country magazine: "I would hate the idea of her watching it. When you're playing a real person, you never want to be ghoulish. I don't want to pick apart a person. I want to invent someone. So I would hate for her to watch it and think I overdramatised anything."
Emily Blunt – Queen Victoria
Emily played a young Queen Victoria in The Young Victoria, which chronically her ascension to the throne and falling in love with her husband, Prince Albert. This isn't the first time that the Devil Wears Prada star has played a royal, as she also played Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife, in the 2003 TV series, Henry VIII.
Matt Smith – Prince Philip
The former Doctor Who star took on Prince Philip, and nailed his unique sense-of-humour. Speaking about playing the Prince, Matt told Esquire: "He gave up everything, literally everything, that made him a man. He had such a wonderful naval career, and for that to be taken away from him, and then to have to walk two steps behind his wife in public for the whole of his life- but he has a lion's pride about him, so there were a lot of very interesting conflicts to play."
Vanessa Kirby – Princess Margaret
Princess Margaret's struggle with being a modern woman and part of a monarchy steeped in tradition is portrayed perfectly by Vanessa Kirby in The Crown. Her role chronicles her doomed relationship with the divorced Group Captain Peter Townsend, before eventually wedding the unconventional photographer, Antony Armstrong-Jones. Vanessa's performance was praised by audiences, many of whom could relate to the young, bored Princess.
Dame Judi Dench – Queen Victoria
Dame Judi has played Queen Victoria twice; once in a film that looked at her relationship with John Brown, and most recently in Victoria and Abdul, which looked at her close friendship with her Indian 'Munshi', Abdul. Speaking to the New York Post about playing the role for a second time, Dame Judi said: "I hadn't known about this part of her life. John Brown had died. She was lonely and the general business of being in her 80s was very, very hard for her."
Colin Firth – King George VI
King George VI was the monarch during WWII, having taken over the role from his brother who abdicated to marry Wallace Simpson. Not only was he beloved by the public, he also overcame a severe stutter with the help of a speech therapist, and Colin's performance as the determined King won him an Oscar.
Helena Bonham Carter – The Queen Mother
Helena plays King George VI's wife and the Queen's mother, Queen Elizabeth, perfectly. As a concerned wife who supports her husband when he is thrust into the pressure of becoming a King after his brother abdicates, Queen Elizabeth is instrumental to finding him the help he needs with his famous stutter, while supporting him all of the way.
Naomi Watts – Princess Diana
Naomi took on the people's princess in this biopic, and opened up about why she wanted to initially make the film. She said: "I didn't know anything about this love story. I was living in Australia and then America at the time and wasn't avidly following stories about Princess Diana so this was news to me. I was intrigued by the idea of taking on this massively, globally known woman, but terrified at the same time because people's level of interest is going to be much higher than usual. I feel like I am always looking to take risks and move out of my comfort zone, so this was… that!"
Helen Mirren – The Queen
Helen Mirren played the Queen at a time of crisis for the royal family following the death of the beloved Princess of Wales, Diana. With the popularity for the monarchy at an all-time low, Helen portrayed the Queen as she attempted to navigate rocky political waters while dealing with her family's grief.