In Hollywood, big-name celebrities can become pop culture royalty, but many of them have flipped the script to portray actual kings and queens or princes and princesses on screen. To mark the Oct. 1, 2021, release of Netflix's "Diana: The Musical" — in which actress Jeanna de Waal takes on the role of Princess Diana — Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at some of the stars behind the most regal characters in film and on television.
Keep reading for more stars who've played real-life royals, including other actress who've portrayed the late Princess of Wales…
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Another Netflix project tackled Princess Diana's life — with much of the storyline on season 4 of "The Crown" revolving around Princess Diana as a teen and in the early years of her marriage to Prince Charles in the '80s. Aside from a role in "Pennyworth," the young British star who played the former Lady Diana Spencer hadn't had many other roles before signing on to the lauded streaming show.
Emma Corrin took on Princess Diana on season 4 of "The Crown" in 2020, playing the famous royal, who died in 1997, from ages 16 to 28.
It was only a matter of time before the lives of former royals Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were fictionalized. Lifetime's "Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace" covers the period the couple decided to leave Britain and move to America in 2020 amid drama with family members and courtiers.
Jordan Dean plays Prince Harry and Sydney Morton plays Duchess Meghan in Lifetime's "Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace." The TV movie's stars knew each other long before they portrayed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex: Jordan, who's appeared in projects including the series "Z: The Beginning of Everything," and Sydney, who's done television work but has a longer history on the Broadway stage, were both in the original Broadway cast of the musical "American Psycho" in 2015 and 2016.
Soon after this actress found fame with a supporting role in 2006's "The Devil Wears Prada," she got into character to play Queen Victoria in her younger years. Here's another hint: She's married to her "A Quiet Place" co-star, John Krasinski.
Emily Blunt starred as Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland during the first years of her reign in the 2009 period film "The Young Victoria."
As Britain's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has been portrayed in film and on television by a number of actresses including Helen Mirren and Emma Thompson. But this star, in particular, won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance as the reigning queen in a Netflix series that's still on the air.
Claire Foy portrayed a young Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix's "The Crown" throughout the show's first two seasons between 2016 and 2018.
For seasons 3 and 4 of "The Crown," which covered the '60s through the '80s, producers wanted to cast a different actress to play Queen Elizabeth II as she aged. They picked a British star very familiar with playing royalty…
The next star to take on Queen Elizabeth II on "The Crown"? Olivia Colman, who won an Oscar in 2019 for her performance as another British monarch, Queen Anne, in "The Favourite." On seasons 3 and 4 of "The Crown," she embodies Elizabeth from 1964 through the '80s, a period that includes the investiture of son Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales and his early romance with Camilla Shand, the monarch's Silver Jubilee, Charles's marriage to Lady Diana Spencer, Princess Margaret's divorce and more.
For seasons 5 and 6 of "The Crown," which will cover the 1990s and beyond, a third talented actress was cast to play Queen Elizabeth II in her later years…
Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth II on seasons 5 and 6 of the Netflix series "The Crown."
Prince Philip was the longest serving consort in the history of the British monarchy. You might recognize the man who portrayed Queen Elizabeth II's husband on the third and fourth seasons of "The Crown" from his work on the popular dramas "Game of Thrones" and "Outlander."
Tobias Menzies brought to life a more mature Prince Philip on "The Crown" during seasons 3 and 4. He previously played Edmure Tully on "Game of Thrones" and both Frank and Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall on "Outlander."
This English actor was best known for his leading role on the BBC's "Doctor Who" series before he took on a more royal role as a young Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on Netflix's "The Crown" for its first two seasons.
Matt Smith played Prince Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, on Netflix's "The Crown" during its first and second seasons.
Never let go, Jack! Just one year after this actor romanced Kate Winslet in the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic," he tried his hand at an even more dramatic role: King Louis XIV of France.
Leonardo Dicaprio, as King Louis XIV, duked it out with the Three Musketeers in the 1998 historical drama "The Man in the Iron Mask."
Do you think you can guess which blonde actress, who has kids with Liev Schreiber, once played beautiful, beloved Princess Diana? Keep reading to find out…
Naomi Watts starred in the 2013 biopic "Diana," which detailed the final two years of Princess Di's life following her divorce from Prince Charles.
All the royals were recast for seasons 3 and 4 of "The Crown," including the actor who plays Prince Charles, who becomes an adult in the '60s, which is when season 3 kicked off. A British thespian was tapped for the role.
Josh O'Connor played the heir to Britain's throne on the third and fourth seasons of the Netflix series "The Crown." He was previously best known for his work in the British film "God's Own Country" and on the PBS series "The Durrells in Corfu."
Princess Anne is Queen Elizabeth II's only daughter. She's played on "The Crown" on seasons 3 and 4 by an actress familiar to British audiences.
Erin Doherty took on the role of Princess Anne on "The Crown" starting in 2019. She was previously best known for her work on "Call the Midwife" and a 2018 BBC miniseries adaptation of "Les Miserables."
Next up? Princess Margaret! An Oscar-nominated English actress who's been known to work with her ex, director Tim Burton, on a number of fantastical movies, stepped into the royal's shoes on "The Crown."
Back in 2018, Netflix announced that Helena Bonham Carter would play Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, on the third and fourth seasons of "The Crown." Helena has also portrayed royalty in other projects, like Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother, in 2010's "A King's Speech."
This Australian hunk portrayed romancing con artist John Meehan on Bravo's true-life series "Dirty John." Before he and co-star Connie Britton steamed up the small screen together, he played a different womanizer, King Henry VIII of England.
Eric Bana portrayed King Henry VIII, who took his wife's sister as a mistress, in the fictional 2008 film "The Other Boleyn Girl."
Queen Elizabeth I has been portrayed by Hollywood royalty such as Dame Judi Dench and Katharine Hepburn, but this Australian actress got into character to play the monarch not once but twice, which earned her two of her seven Oscar nominations. She won twice for different movies: "The Aviator" and "Blue Jasmine."
Cate Blanchett nailed the role of Queen Elizabeth I in the 2007 biopic "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (pictured). The first time she got into character as the legendary ruler was for the 1998 film "Elizabeth."
This Israeli-American actress went from playing Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I, to winning an Oscar — her first — for her performance as a ballerina in the 2010 psychological thriller "Black Swan."
Natalie Portman starred alongside Scarlett Johansson, who played Anne Boleyn's sister Mary, in the 2008 period romance "The Other Boleyn Girl."
This hunky actor has nailed the art of rom-coms, starring in the likes of 1997's "My Best Friend's Wedding" with Julia Roberts. But he also has quite the knack for period pieces, having portrayed monarchs (such as King Charles II of England) in numerous films.
Rupert Everett took the throne as King Charles II in the 2004 romantic drama "Stage Beauty." He's played royalty in a handful of movies including "The Madness of King George," "To Kill a King" and "A Royal Night Out."
This actress, who was made a dame for her contribution to British film, won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in the 2005 miniseries "Elizabeth" as well as an Oscar for her work as Queen Elizabeth II in 2007's "The Queen." In 2019, she took on the role of Catherine the Great in an HBO series. The award-winning expert on playing royals has also gotten into character as Queen Charlotte (pictured).
Dame Helen Mirren starred as Queen Charlotte of Great Britain and Ireland, the wife of King George III, in "The Madness of King George" in 1994.
You might remember this actor as part of the ensemble cast in the 2003 classic Christmas rom-com "Love Actually," but it was his work as King George VI that earned him an Oscar.
Colin Firth wore King George VI's crown for his performance in 2010's "The King's Speech," which centered on how the monarch overcame his stutter.
This Irish American star snagged a Golden Globe for her work in the 2017 coming-of-age film "Lady Bird," but she's also no stranger to period pieces. She starred in filmmaker Greta Gerwig's 2019 adaptation of "Little Women" and in 2018 had the title role in "Mary Queen of Scots."
Saoirse Ronan took the lead in the 2018 biographical drama "Mary Queen of Scots," which also featured Margot Robbie in the role of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
Mary, Queen of Scots has been glamorized by Hollywood numerous times, but perhaps the most melodramatic take came in 2013 on the CW's "Reign." A young Australian actress played the famous royal during the show's four seasons.
Adelaide Kane was well known in her native Australia largely thanks to her work on the popular soap opera "Neighbours" before she took on the part of Mary, Queen of Scots on "Reign." In America, her biggest role prior to the CW drama was on MTV's "Teen Wolf."
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother isn't left out of the action on Netflix's "The Crown." On seasons 3 and 4, she's portrayed by an actress who's a familiar face to the British public.
Marion Bailey tackled the role of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother on season 3 and 4 of "The Crown." She's best known for her work in British television and film projects, often with her partner, director Mike Leigh.