Jenna Coleman, the British actress who plays Queen Victoria in ITV’s popular period drama series, Victoria, has been widely praised for her performance.
Her portrayal of Queen Victoria, who reigned over Great Britain and Ireland from June 20, 1837 to January 22, 1901, is far from the first time an actress has portrayed the great monarch.
In chronological order, here are some of the best movies and TV shows about Queen Victoria:
1. Victoria the Great (1937)
Following the Broadway success of Laurence Housman’s play Victoria Regina, this 1937 British biographical film was commissioned by none other than King Edward VIII. Lord Chamberlain had already banned the play in 1935 because it was unlawful to display the royal family on the British stage.
The early years of Queen Victoria’s reign and her marriage to Prince Albert are the center of the biopic Victoria the Great. Toward the end, as the Queen resumes her public duties following the death of Albert in 1861, the picture switches from black and white to color.
According to Variety: “Victoria the Great travels a long way toward a thorough and detailed account of the most popular ruler England ever had in her lifetime.” Actress Anna Neagle, playing the lead part, offers an uncompromising performance throughout the entire film. Victoria’s private life, courtship, marriage, and unique personality traits are all well-represented in the film.
2. Sixty Glorious Years (1938)
As a result of the critical and commercial success of 1937’s Victoria the Great, director Herbert Wilcox returned in 1938 with a sequel, reuniting his wife Anna Neagle with Anton Walbrook as Prince Albert.
Critics have generally praised Sixty Glorious Years, also known in the US as Queen of Destiny, praising its “superlative production quality, with the sets and costumes excellent copies of the original treasures that are preserved at the British Museum.”
3. Victoria Regina (1964)
A young Patricia Routledge played Queen Victoria in this 1964 Granada Television series based on Laurence Housman’s 1934 drama.
Yes, this is the samePatricia Routledge from the BBC series Keeping Up Appearances in the early 1990s, who played Hyacinth Bucket!
4. Mrs Brown (1997)
For her role in this 1997 British film, JudiDench was nominated for a slew of accolades, including best actress at the Academy Awards (she ultimately lost to Helen Hunt for As Good as It Gets).
Billy Connolly’s portrayal of Scottish servant John Brown, Queen Victoria’s bereaved servant, was directed by John Madden, who later worked with Judi Dench on the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films.
You’re soon entangled in a challenging but ultimately rewarding friendship, and learning more about the past than you ever imagined, according to an article in Empire magazine.
5. Victoria & Albert (2001)
The BBC and A&E collaborated on the creation of this British-American TV movie, which broadcast in 2001.
The marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was the focus of this historical drama, which featured an all-star cast including Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey), David Suchet (Poirot), Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones), and Diana Rigg (who currently plays the Duchess of Buccleuch in ITV’s Victoria series).
Victoria Hamilton offered “a nicely intense performance,” according to a review in The Guardian of Peter Ustinov’s portrayal of William IV.
6. The Young Victoria (2009)
The script for this 2009 film was written by Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, and it attempted to be as historically accurate as possible.
The Young Victoria tells the story of Queen Victoria’s early life and reign, as well as her marriage to Prince Albert. Miranda Richardson, Mark Strong, and Jim Broadbent round out the cast, which also features Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend as the Royal Couple.
According to the Daily Telegraph and Empire, the film is a “beautiful, engaging, educational picture with a gallery of colorful supporting turns” with “an immaculate cast.”
7. Victoria (2016)
ITV’s sumptuous period drama series filled the Sunday night winter slot left vacant by Downton Abbey in 2016 when Jenna Coleman, fresh off three years as Doctor Who’s lead, stepped into the role.
The first season of The Crown began with Queen Victoria’s ascent to the throne at the age of 18 and her marriage to Prince Albert.
After completing her dissertation on Queen Victoria’s private journals, author Daisy Goodwin penned an article for the Radio Times stating, “Writer Daisy Goodwin has done her research”
8. Victoria & Abdul (2017)
Dame Judi Dench returns to her Oscar-nominated role as Queen Victoria in this unofficial sequel byThe Queen directorStephen Frears, based on the book of the same name by Shrabani Basu, twenty years after her portrayal in Mrs Brown.
This film relates the story of Victoria and her Indian Muslim servant, Abdul Karim, played by Bollywood star Ali Fazal.
Judi Dench’s “touching, majestic performance” was widely praised by critics, despite the film’s glamorizing of the British Empire in several reviews.