Every Time Royal Lookalike Jeannette Charles Played Queen Elizabeth II


  • Jeannette Charles played Queen Elizabeth II in more than a dozen different movie and TV titles.
  • Some of the most prominent projects featuring Charles’ Queen Elizabeth were
    The Naked Gun
    The Parent Trap
    , and
    Saturday Night Live
  • Charles also played nonspecific queens in titles such as
    The Rutles
    Austin Powers in Goldmember



Jeannette Charles has played British royal Queen Elizabeth II more than a dozen times over her three-and-a-half-decade onscreen career. Charles, who died at the age of 96 on June 2, 2024, has 40 credits to her name after making her small screen debut in 1974. Of those credits, 17 involved portraying Queen Elizabeth II in some capacity, while 17 more saw her play queens meant to represent Queen Elizabeth II, meaning that a full 85% of her career involved playing the same role many times over.

Over the years, many different people have played the role for which she became iconic. This includes four different actors who played Queen Elizabeth on The Crown, in addition to various decorated performers in other projects including Emma Thompson in Walking the Dogs, Helen Mirren in The Queen, and even American star Neve Campbell in Churchill: The Hollywood Years. However, in spite of the fact that many of her appearances in the role were brief cameos, it is indisputable that Charles portrayed the late monarch the most onscreen.

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1 Loriots Telecabinet

Premiere Date: November 13, 1974

The Loriots Telecabinet Logo

Long before Netflix’s The Crown, Charles made her debut in the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the TV movie Loriots Telecabinet. The West German production, which is a parody of a talk show, kicked off a career-long trend of Charles playing the British monarch in nearly as many foreign-language productions as solely English-language ones.

In addition to being her first time playing Queen Elizabeth II onscreen, Loriots Telecabinet was Charles’ screen debut. While it wasn’t a widely known project, it marked the first time that she was publicly recognized for her similarity to the queen and it became part of the groundswell of early projects that led to her iconic and unusual career.

2 Rutland Weekend Television

Premiere Date: December 26, 1975

The Rutland Weekend Television Logo



Season 1, Episode 7

“Christmas with Rutland Weekend Television”

Rutland Weekend Television was a short-lived two-season sketch comedy show created by Eric Idle after the end of his iconic comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Charles portrayed Queen Elizabeth II on just one episode of the program, which ran for a total of 14 episodes.

While the show is not as well known as any of Idle’s Monty Python works, it offered the actor her first opportunity to portray the role in a primarily English-language project. It laid the groundwork for her appearances in more prominent titles, though her performances would remain on the small screen for the better part of a decade afterward.

3 Saturday Night Live

Premiere Date: April 23, 1977

The SNL Logo from 1975



Season 2, Episode 21

“Eric Idle/Neil Innes”

Charles’ appearance on an early episode of the long-running American sketch comedy show marked her most prominent appearance as Queen Elizabeth II in the 1970s. She appeared on the show during the time when the cast featured comedy icons including Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner.

It might seem unusual that SNL would bring Charles on, considering the fact that they usually have members of their ensemble cast perform impressions of any celebrities in a given sketch. However, the host of the episode was Rutland Weekend Television‘s Eric Idle and the musical guest was Neil Innes, who provided the music for the British show. Though she never appeared in a second Rutland episode as the Queen, her performance seems to have made an impression on the pair and they brought her along.

SNL Poster

Saturday Night Live
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The longest-running sketch-comedy/satire show on television, premiering in 1975, Saturday Night Live is a weekly series that features new hosts for each episode, with a core cast of actors and comedians that rotate over time. Episodes feature several skits that are sometimes ad-libbed on the fly, with the hosts engaging in most of them, and also provide musical guest performances that cap off each night. 

Cast Leslie Jones , Aidy Bryant , Kyle Mooney , Alex Moffat , Kate McKinnon , Beck Bennett , Kenan Thompson , Colin Jost , Mikey Day , Cecily Strong , Michael Che , Pete Davidson , Melissa Villaseñor Release Date October 11, 1975 Seasons 48 Network NBC Streaming Service(s) Peacock Showrunner Lorne Michaels


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4 Q…

Premiere Date: February 21, 1978 Through July 22, 1980

Jeannette Charles As Queen Elizabeth II Waving In Q5



Season 3, Episode 7


Season 4, Episode 1


Season 4, Episode 2


Season 4, Episode 3


Season 5, Episode 2


Season 5, Episode 4


Season 5, Episode 6


The British show Q…, which typically had different numbers attached to the letter for each season (running from Q5 through Q9), offered Charles an opportunity to sharpen her impression of Queen Elizabeth II considerably. After an appearance on a season 3 episode in 1978, she would return to the show six times through its penultimate season in 1980.

Rutland, SNL, and Q… firmly established the precedent that Charles played the role in comedy projects. While the life of Queen Elizabeth II has been dramatized onscreen many times, Charles became a go-to when it came to skewering the iconic monarch in a project with a more satirical bent.

5 Not The Nine O’Clock News

Premiere Date: December 8, 1980

The Logo for Not the Nine O'Clock News



Season 3, Episode 7

“The Royal Command Performance of Not the Nine O’Clock News”

Not the Nine O’Clock News was a sketch comedy series that ran on BBC2 opposite BBC1’s legitimate news show Nine O’Clock News. The main cast of the show included Pamela Stephenson, Mel Smith, and future Mr. Bean and Blackadder icon Rowan Atkinson.

Charles portrayed Queen Elizabeth II in a single episode of the show. While this was a similar setup to her appearance on Rutland Weekend News, Not the Nine O’Clock News marked the first time that her appearance was heralded in some way in the title of the episode. The listing promised a “Royal Command Performance,” emphasizing the parody of the monarch that would appear in the episode.

6 The Queen Special

Premiere Date: December 1980

Jeannette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II Clapping in The Queen Special

Charles’ appearance in the 1980 production The Queen Special was her most tongue-in-cheek up to that point. The special was a promotional video for the popular band Queen, led by charismatic singer-songwriter Freddie Mecury. The special focused on their album “The Game” as well as their soundtrack for 1980’s Flash Gordon.

The special featured celebrity cameos including former Beatle Ringo Starr, iconic Bond girl Barbara Bach, Monty Python member John Cleese, and model Twiggy. Alongside those icons, Charles reprised her role as Queen Elizabeth II, embracing the name of the band by putting her lookalike skills to the test on one of her biggest stages yet.

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7 National Lampoon’s European Vacation

Release Date: July 26, 1985

Jeannette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II in National Lampoon's European Vacation

After playing the role of Queen Elizabeth II for more than a decade on the small screen, Charles made her big screen debut as the character in National Lampoon’s European Vacation. The movie was a direct sequel to the Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo comedy Vacation, which had become the 12th highest-grossing movie of 1983 worldwide.

The feature, which continued a franchise that would eventually extend to include six movies in total, was a decent hit, earning $49.3 million against a budget of $17 million. While Charles only appeared in one scene, it was memorable, as she appeared alongside Peter Hugo as Prince Charles and Julie Wooldridge as Princess Diana in a dream sequence.

8 Dolly

Premiere Date: October 11, 1987

The Dolly 1987 Logo



Season 1, Episode 3


The short-lived Dolly was a variety show created and hosted by iconic country music singer Dolly Parton, who had recently starred in movies including 9 to 5 and Rhinestone. Despite only running for a single season, it featured a cavalcade of guest stars including Hulk Hogan, Tom Petty, Pee-Wee Herman, and Oprah Winfrey.

Also featured, very early on in the show’s run, was Charles’ performance as Queen Elizabeth II in an episode featuring a star-studded cast that also included Bruce Willis, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and Daniel Rosen. This cameo from Charles hearkened back to a real-life moment where Parton met the queen in 1977 after performing at her Silver Jubilee.

9 Carrott Confidential

Premiere Date: January 16, 1988 Through February 18, 1989

Jasper Carrott Thumbing His Nose in Carrott Confidential



Season 2, Episode 1


Season 2, Episode 2


Season 3, Episode 3


After playing Queen Elizabeth II on two American productions in a row, Charles returned to her comfort zone of British television comedy. Her next appearance on the small screen was three episodes of Carrott Confidential, which starred comedian and television presenter Jasper Carrott, who would go on to host the late 2000s game show Golden Balls.

Charles’ portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II on the show marked her second-longest stint playing the character on a single television program. After her final appearance on Carrott Confidential, in the show’s third and final season, her subsequent television appearances would only include one episode apiece.

10 The Big Gag

Release Date: August 18, 1988

The Logo for The Big Gag

After returning to British soil, Charles went international yet again for the feature comedy The Big Gag, which was the brainchild of a troupe led by co-director Yehuda Barkan. The Hebrew-language project was a documentary prank movie and an early example of the comedy format popularized by Candid Camera which would eventually lead into projects including Punk’d and Borat.

Charles brought her performance as Queen Elizabeth II to the much looser comedy stylings of the Jackass-esque movie. That same year, she appeared in Barkan’s Nipagesh Bachof, also known as The Big Bag, a similarly styled feature in which she was not credited as specifically playing Queen Elizabeth.

11 The Sooty Show

Premiere Date: November 29, 1988

The Logo for The Sooty Show



Season 26, Episode 13


The Sooty Show was a long-running staple of British children’s television starring the titular puppet. In various iterations, it ran for 43 seasons between 1955 and 1992, whereupon it was followed by the six-season animated show Sooty & Co.

Charles appeared as Queen Elizabeth II in an episode about midway through the iconic show’s run, in yet another episode that heralded her appearance in its title, “Royalty.” Although quite a few of her portrayals of the monarch were family-friendly, the show was the first time that she played the role in a project specifically targeted toward an audience of young children.

12 The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad!

Release Date: December 2, 1988

Jeannette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II Waving In The Naked Gun

The third feature film to star Charles as Queen Elizabeth II is likely the most iconic of the bunch. The Naked Gun was a spoof comedy from Airplane! legends Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker, featuring their go-to lead actor Leslie Nielsen reprising his role of Lt. Frank Drebin from their short-lived show Police Squad! and it went on to spawn two sequels and an upcoming reboot after earning $152.4 million against a $12 million budget.

In addition to being her biggest movie yet, it provided Charles with her most extensive role to date. The arrival of Queen Elizabeth II forms the core of the third act setpiece in the movie, in which there is an attempted assassination of the monarch. This offered the actor the opportunity to nail some major comedy beats.

Naked Gun

Directed by Airplane! directors Jim Abrahams and brothers David and Jerry Zucker, The Naked Gun is a slapstick comedy starring Leslie Nielsen as the bumbling Detective Frank Drebin, who’s tasked with stopping a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the United States. The original movie is a continuation of the Police Squad! TV show, and it spawned two direct sequels.

Director David Zucker Release Date December 2, 1988 Cast Priscilla Presley , O.J. Simpson , George Kennedy , Leslie Nielsen , Ricardo Montalban Runtime 85 minutes

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13 Day By Day

Premiere Date: April 2, 1989

Jeannette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II in Day by Day



Season 2, Episode 18

“The Reunion”

As would seemingly be her habit after starring in a major American film, Charles returned to television comedy more or less immediately after The Naked Gun. However, in this case, she eschewed British television by appearing on the American sitcom Day by Day, which is notable for featuring early performances from Seinfeld‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Melrose Place‘s Courtney Thorne-Smith, and American Beauty‘s Thora Birch.

Charles appeared on the show in its second season, just three episodes before it went off the air. However, reruns on Lifetime and TV Land allowed her performance to continue gracing the American airwaves for several years to come.

14 Un, Dos, Tres… Responda Otra Vez

Premiere Date: March 6, 1992

The Logo for Un Dos Tres



Season 7, Episode 26

“El Londres de ayer y hoy”

Charles’ next appearance in the role came in 1992. Though it was also on the small screen, she again eschewed returning to British sketch comedy, instead appearing on an episode of the Spanish game show Un, dos, tres… responda otra vez, in which she was credited as “Reina Isabel II.”

The episode in which she appeared was titled “El Londres de ayer y hoy,” which translates to “The London of Yesterday and Today.” This would explain her appearance on the show. It seems likely that the producers were looking to hire a Queen Elizabeth impersonator for the episode, and at that point, Charles had nearly two decades of experience that made her a perfect fit for the role.

15 The Parent Trap

Release Date: July 29, 1998

Jeannette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II in The Parent Trap

The next movie in which Charles was cast as Queen Elizabeth II was 1998’s The Parent Trap, a remake of the original 1961 movie which starred Lindsay Lohan taking over for Hayley Mills in the double role of twins hoping to trick their parents into getting back together. The movie was a hit, earning $92.1 million against its $15 million budget.

Unfortunately, the scene, in which Charles appears opposite Lohan as the American twin Hallie, was cut from the final production. However, the clip is still available online, as it resurfaced following the death of the real Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.

The Parent Trap (1998)

Director Nancy Meyers Release Date July 29, 1988 Cast Lindsay Lohan , Dennis Quaid , natasha richardson , Elaine Hendrix , Lisa Ann Walter , Simon Kunz , Maggie Wheeler , Polly Holliday Runtime 128 Minutes

16 Tusenårsfesten

Release Date: December 1, 1999

The Logo for Tusenårsfesten

The next movie in which Charles would appear in the final cut was an entirely different sort of project. Titled Tusenårsfesten, which roughly translates to “The Millenium Party,” the 1999 project was a Norwegian comedy movie that went direct-to-video and featured a crossover of the stars from the popular shows Mot i Brostet and Karl and Co. It premiered on television in the late 2000s, but it never ended up getting a substantial theatrical release.

Charles appears in a major comic setpiece where one of the characters makes a drunken fool of herself while on a plane with Queen Elizabeth II.

17 World Of Pub

Premiere Date: June 24, 2001

A Man with a Beer in World of Pub



Season 1, Episode 1


Charles’ final time portraying the role of Queen Elizabeth II came in 2001, just nine years before her final role overall in the 2010 short Write the Future. In keeping with her history of appearing in short-lived comedies, it was a single episode of the single-season sitcom World of Pub, which starred Phil Cornwell and Peter Serafinowicz.

Charles reprised her role in the pilot episode of the series, which was titled “Queen.” Although her final turn in the iconic role was somewhat inauspicious, the fact that the episode was directly named after her character spoke to what an impression she had made on pop culture since the first time she appeared as the monarch in 1974.

18 Every Other Royal Role Played By Jeannette Charles

Charles Played Queens Who Weren’t Specifically Elizabeth II




Leos Leiden (1976)

The Queen

Queen Kong (1976)

HM The Queen

The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (1978)

A Queen of England

First Among Equals (1986)

HM The Queen

Tickets for the Titanic (1987)

The Queen

Ratman (1987)

The Queen

If It’s Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium (1987)

Queen of England

Nipagesh Bachof (1987)

Queen of England

Never the Twain (1990)

H.M. The Queen

Tatort (1992)


Un, dos, tres… responda otra vez season 9 (1994)

Reina de Inglaterra

Shining Time Station: Queen for a Day (1995)

The Queen

Motörhead: “God Save the Queen” Music Video (2000)

The Queen

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)


The Slammer (2006)

The Queen

Big Brother’s Little Brother (2009)

The Queen

Write the Future (2010)


Over the years, Jeannette Charles played a great number of queens who were typically meant to represent Queen Elizabeth II without specifically mentioning her by name. This included projects that were a little more salacious (including the West German X-rated movie Leos Leiden) or had a sharper satirical bite than some of her other appearances (such as the raucous comedy Austin Powers in Goldmember). This also includes yet another collaboration with Eric Idle and Neil Innes in the 1978 rock mockumentary The Rutles.

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