Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96, having served Britain for more than seven decades and earning the title of the country’s longest-reigning monarch.
Elizabeth is survived by four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Her eldest son, Charles, 73, immediately became king, according to the British laws of succession.
Her Majesty, who was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, became the queen regnant when her father, King George VI, died in February 1952. Her coronation the following year when she was 25 years old marked a new, modernized monarchy.
The queen has been portrayed on film and in television, with celebrities flocking for a chance to play the royal figure on screen, or even perhaps just shake her hand at an exclusive event.
Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at the age of 96, and was known for modernizing the monarchy with the help of celebrity friends, including Dame Helen Mirren and Lady Gaga.
Dame Helen Mirren earned her first Academy Award for her portrayal of Elizabeth in the 2006 film, “The Queen.” She later earned a Tony Award for playing Elizabeth in a 2013 theatrical performance, “The Audience.”
Not only did Mirren take home the best actress trophy, she was also praised by the queen for her performance, and invited to dinner at Buckingham Palace.
“I’m mourning along with the rest of my country, the passing of a great Queen. I’m proud to call myself of the Elizabethan age,” Mirren said in a statement. “If there was a definition of nobility, Elizabeth Windsor embodied it.”
“The Audience” (created by Peter Morgan) was such a hit that Netflix hit the greenlight on a new series chronicling the life of Queen Elizabeth, with Claire Foy taking on the role as her majesty in “The Crown.”
Debuting in 2016, Foy earned two Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her 21-episode performance between seasons one and two, which covered up to 1964.
The series was designed to change actors in two-season increments, as to reflect the aging process over time periods. Following Foy’s reign, Olivia Colman stepped in to play Elizabeth for seasons three and four, which covered her Silver Jubilee, Margaret Thatcher as prime minister and Lady Diana Spencer being welcomed into the family.
Colman earned an Emmy, Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for “The Crown,” and will soon pass on the role to Imelda Staunton, who will play the royal in the fifth and sixth final seasons of the popular show.
Morgan revealed in an email to Deadline that he expected the program to be paused “out of respect” to the Queen, as the series was a “love letter” about her life.
One massive honor the queen bestowed upon individuals was knighthood or damehood, where men could receive the title “Sir,” while women were granted “Dame” status.
Dame Judi Dench was named an Order of the British Empire in 1970 and then honored with the title of Dame Commander in 1988. Nearly one decade later, Dench earned an Academy Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare in Love.”
Sir Elton John, a longtime friend of Princess Diana, was knighted by the queen in 1998. Shortly after Diana’s death on Aug. 31, 1997, he released an adaptation of his song, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” as a tribute to his friend, which is still estimated to be the best-selling single of all time.
“Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s passing. She was an inspiring presence to be around and led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth,” John shared following her death.
“Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day, and I will miss her dearly.”
In 2021, John was further celebrated for his numerous contributions to charitable organizations. In addition to his storied career as one of the most iconic musicians, he joined an exclusive club when Prince Charles anointed the legendary artist as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, one of the highest awards bestowed to citizens in Britain and the Commonwealth.
“Mary Poppins” and “Sound of Music” star Dame Julie Andrews earned the title in 2000 after decades of service to the performing arts, which began when she was just a child actress appearing in the West End in 1948.
“A page in history has turned today. Along with millions of others, I mourn the passing of our beloved Queen Elizabeth II,” Andrews told Fox News Digital. “It feels as though we lost a friend: a dedicated Monarch who inspired all of us with her love, wisdom and grace.
“May we honour her by holding to the standards she set for herself and her nation.”
Dame Emma Thompson received the recognition in 2018, years after she portrayed the queen in an episode of “Playhouse Presents,” which followed a 1982 incident where Elizabeth reportedly calmly chatted with an intruder who broke into her bedroom and waited until authorities arrived.
Late award-winning singer and actress, Olivia Newton-John, who died last month at the age of 73, was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2020 for her services to charity, cancer research and entertainment.
In 2014, Angelina Jolie received an honorary damehood by the queen during a private ceremony for her humanitarian efforts and services to the UK’s foreign policy.
The Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1965 and received knighthood in 1997. He was then appointed as a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in 2017. Sir Richard Starkey, known as Ringo Starr, also received knighthood when he was appointed a Knight Bachelor by Prince William in 2018 during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Rolling Stones lead singer Sir Mick Jagger received knighthood in 2003, and received the award from The Prince of Wales with his father and two of his daughters present at the ceremony.
“For my whole life Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has always been there. In my childhood I can recall watching her wedding highlights on TV,” Jagger shared in a statement. “I remember her as a beautiful young lady, to the much beloved grandmother of the nation. My deepest sympathies are with the Royal family.”
Dames and Sirs aside, Hollywood hasn’t missed a chance to see the queen in her castle, or at one of her many royal residences.
Lady Gaga bowed while shaking hands with Elizabeth shortly after the Royal Variety Performance in 2009, and came back to perform for the royal family in 2016.
Many notable stars were invited to mingle among royals through the years, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sophia Loren, Harrison Ford, Elizabeth Taylor, Meryl Streep and Raquel Welch.
The queen had a front row seat next to Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Caroline Rush of the British Fashion Council during Richard Quinn’s runway show in 2018.
Many a Bond villain, spy and girl met Elizabeth, including Daniel Craig who shared in a statement, “I, like so many, was deeply saddened by the news today and my thoughts are with The Royal Family, those she loved and all those who loved her. She leaves an incomparable legacy and will be profoundly missed.”
She shook hands with Marilyn Monroe, met Barbra Streisand and James Caan at the “Funny Lady” premiere in 1975, and made sure to chat with the Spice Girls when they visited the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1997.
Geri Halliwell echoed many of the sentiments shared by members of the famous girl group when she posted, “My thoughts and sympathies go to the Royal Family for the loss of their Mother, Grandmother, Aunt.
“Thank you to Her Majesty for her resolute never-ending service. She is, and always will be the epitome of dignity and elegance.”
Rock legend Ozzy Osbourne wrote, “With a heavy heart I say it’s devastating the thought of England without Queen Elizabeth II.”