31 October 2016

Costume Jewels: Royal Ladies on Stage and Screen

Dame Anna Neagle and the cast of 1938's Victoria the Great
[Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

Royalty has often been a favorite subject of playwrights and screenwriters; movies, television shows, and plays are full of portrayals of royal figures from throughout history. Because today is Halloween, the greatest costume festival in my part of the world, and because we're counting down to the release of  The Crown on Netflix this Friday, let's have a look at actresses in royal costume over the years.

Sarah Bernhardt as Queen Elizabeth I of England, ca. 1880s
[Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

Ellen Pollock plays Queen Hortense of Holland in the play Napoleon, The Hundred Days, 1932 [Photo: Sasha/Getty Images]

Merle Oberon as Anne Boleyn in 1933's The Private Life of Henry VIII
[Photo: Sasha/Getty Images]

Elisabeth Bergner plays the title character in 1934's Catherine the Great [Photo: Tunbridge-Sedgwick Pictorial Press/Getty Images]

Madeleine Carroll as Queen Caroline Mathilda of Denmark in 1935's The Dictator [Photo: Henry Guttmann/Getty Images]

Dame Anna Neagle, as Queen Victoria, is crowned in 1937's Victoria the Great [Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

Norma Shearer portrays France's doomed queen in 1938's Marie Antoinette [Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

In a 1954 one-woman musical review, Cornelia Otis Skinner plays Katherine of Aragon
[Photo: John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images]

Dame Judi Dench plays the Queen in a 1960 production of Shakespeare's Richard II[Photo: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

Dame Dorothy Tutin rehearses the role of Victoria in a 1965 production of Portrait of a Queen [Photo: Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images]

Vanessa Redgrave as Mary, Queen of Scots and Glenda Jackson as Queen Elizabeth I in 1971's Mary, Queen of Scots [Photo: Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Getty Images]

Pauline Tinsley as Queen Elizabeth I in a 1973 production of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda[Photo: Michael Webb/Keystone/Getty Images]

Dame Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth I in 1999's Shakespeare in Love [Photo: Miramax/Laurie Sparham]

Which bejeweled movies and plays about royalty are your favorites?