10 of Queen Elizabeth II's best pop culture moments of all time

·4-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

To mark the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the nation has entered an extended mourning period.

With all the sombre headlines floating around, you might be craving some content featuring Her Majesty that will help raise your spirits, so to that end, we've rounded up the Queen's best pop culture moments to binge over the coming days.

From teaming up with James Bond to having tea with Paddington, scroll through for some of the monarch's most memorable (and unexpected) cameos, along with a handful of the best films and TV shows portraying Queen Elizabeth II.

1. The Queen and Paddington Bear, 2022

To mark the Platinum Jubilee, the Queen featured alongside Paddington Bear in a short (and very wholesome) film. In the clip, the two British icons sat down for a chaotic tea at Buckingham Palace and bonded over their love of Ma'amalade sandwiches.

'That’s real acting that you’re watching there,' recalls Frank Cottrell-Boyce in an interview with BBC Radio Four, who co-wrote the Queen's TV appearances with Paddington and James Bond. 'Paddington isn’t really in the room. She’s acting with someone pretending to be Paddington with false eye-lines and she’s got lots and lots of lines and there’s a real joy there.'

2. The Queen and James Bond, 2012

Starring alongside James Bond (AKA Daniel Craig) for an on-camera appearance to mark the 2012 London Olympics, Her Majesty attended the opening ceremony in style, with the pair parachuting into London Stadium - a concept that never gets old.

'She volunteered herself for the Olympic opening ceremony, we didn’t expect her to want to do it,' added Cottrell-Boyce. 'We went to the Palace asking for permission to represent her and to know what she was wearing on the day and it was her amazing dresser who said, "No no she wants to be in it." She was game and she was up for that.'

3. The Crown, 2016-present

Of course, Netflix's award-winning show, The Crown, is a show you'll have no trouble bingeing. The series follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II and her family, with the monarch portrayed at various stages of her left by Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, and Imelda Staunton.

"Out of respect" for Her Majesty, show creator Peter Morgan shared that the Netflix show will pause production on its final season.

4. A Royal Night Out, 2015

If you're after a feel-good film, try A Royal Night Out starring Sarah Gadon (who plays Queen Elizabeth II) along with Everything I Know About Love's Bel Powley (as Princess Margaret). The movie follows the royal sisters as they leave Buckingham Palace to enjoy the VE Day celebrations.

5. The Invictus Games, 2016

Remember this clip of Prince Harry and the Queen receiving a video message from Michelle and Barack Obama, exchanging fight talk ahead of the Invictus Games? There's even a royal mic drop.

6. The Queen, 2006

When it comes to notable portrayals of Her Majesty, you can't overlook Dame Helen Mirren's in the biographical drama, The Queen. Since news of the monarch's passing, Mirren took to Instagram to share a message commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's legacy, writing, 'I am proud to be an Elizabethan. We mourn a woman, who, with or without the crown, was the epitome of nobility.'

7. Game of Thrones set, 2014

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II famously visited the set of the hit TV show, Game of Thrones, located in Northern Ireland. She was even invited to sit on the Iron Throne but declined reportedly due to an "esoteric" rule that means The Queen of England is not allowed to sit on a foreign throne, revealed executive producer David Benioff in an interview on the Late Night show.

8. The King’s Speech, 2011

Watch a portrayal of young Queen Elizabeth II in The King's Speech, which centres around Her Majesty's father, King George VI, and his friendship with an unorthodox speech therapist, Lionel Logue. The film went on to win 12 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor.

9. Minions, 2015

On a slightly lighter note, Jennifer Saunders portrays the Queen in the animated production, Minions. In the plot, the Minions save Her Majesty from villain Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock), who plots to oust the Queen from the throne.

10. 'Cows!', 2016

Last but not least is this short but sweet viral clip showing the Queen at her 90th Birthday Celebrations. Sitting alongside Prince Philip, Her Majesty can be seen excitedly announcing the arrival of cows at the parade.

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