Throughout her 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, had met with some of history’s most notable public figures, including nearly every U.S. president since her reign began, as well as countless Hollywood celebrities.
Now, as the world remembers and honors the beloved monarch following her death on Sept. 8, let’s take a look back at some of those memorable encounters.
On Oct. 29, 1956, four years into her reign, Queen Elizabeth and Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe, both then 30, shook hands at the Royal Film Performance of “The Battle of the River Plate” at the Empire Theatre in London’s Leicester Square.
American singer and actor Frank Sinatra bowed to the queen in the foyer of the Odeon theater in Leicester Square at the premiere of the film “Me and the Colonel” in October 1958.
Since ascending to the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI, in 1952, the queen has met with every U.S. president serving during her reign except one, Lyndon B. Johnson.
On June 15, 1961, the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, entertained President John F. Kennedy and his wife, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, at Buckingham Palace during a banquet held in the president’s honor.
Singer and actor Barbra Streisand and Her Highness both wore gloves when they shook hands at the 1975 London premiere of “Funny Lady.” (Actors James Caan, second from left, and Lee Remick, center, were also in the procession to meet the queen.)
President Gerald Ford danced with Queen Elizabeth in July 1976, at a White House dinner held in her honor during the bicentennial celebrations.
Queen Elizabeth met with Hollywood star Meryl Streep after a Royal Film Performance of “Kramer vs. Kramer” at the Odeon in Leicester Square in 1980. The American-born Streep would later go on to win an Oscar for portraying British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 drama “The Iron Lady.”
President Ronald Reagan went horseback riding with the queen on the grounds of Windsor Castle on June 8, 1982. Reagan’s visit marked the first time a U.S. president stayed overnight at Windsor Castle.
President George H.W. Bush chatted with Queen Elizabeth on the White House lawn on May 14, 1991. During the queen’s official visit, she and Bush planted a Linden tree together to replace the one that was destroyed by a storm. The original was planted in 1937 to honor the ascension to the throne of the queen’s father.
The monarch shakes hands with members of the British pop group the Spice Girls after the group performed at the Royal Variety Performance in London’s Victoria Palace Theatre on Dec. 1, 1997.
President Bill Clinton, his wife, Hillary Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea, posed with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in December 2000. The president and first lady previously met the queen in 1995 during a five-day European tour.
Queen Elizabeth shook hands with singer and actor Jennifer Lopez backstage after the 2001 Royal Variety Performance at the Dominion Theatre in London.
President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush dined with the queen at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 19, 2003.
Halle Berry, Pierce Brosnan and their co-stars in the James Bond movie “Die Another Day” greeted the queen at the world premiere of the movie in November 2002 at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
At the same star-studded James Bond premiere, Queen Elizabeth met Madonna, who co-wrote and performed the movie’s hit theme song.
James Bond actor Daniel Craig bowed to the queen at the November 2006 premiere of the Bond film “Casino Royale” at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square. The pair memorably reunited six years later in an unforgettable video that kicked off the Olympic Games in London.
Queen Elizabeth met pop singer Miley Cyrus following the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England, on Dec. 7, 2009.
Lady Gaga curtseyed to the queen after performing at the 2009 Royal Variety Performance.
Tennis champ Serena Williams shook hands with the queen during Wimbledon at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London on June 24, 2010.
President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, visited with the queen and Prince Philip for a dinner at the Winfield House in London on May 25, 2011. Two years prior, during Michelle Obama’s first meeting with Queen Elizabeth, she broke royal protocol by giving the queen a side hug, reported The Guardian.
Queen Elizabeth greeted British actor Helen Mirren at a reception at Buckingham Palace on May 9, 2011. Mirren previously won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth in the 2006 movie “The Queen.” Mirren later reprised the role in the play “The Audience,” for which she won a Tony Award for best actress. She has met the queen several times, and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2003.
Gillian Anderson met Queen Elizabeth on Feb. 14, 2012, at a Buckingham Palace reception to celebrate the 200th anniversary of author Charles Dickens’ birth. Anderson would go on to win an Emmy in 2021 for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the Netflix series “The Crown.”
Prince Charles was joined by Elton John, Paul McCartney and other entertainers in celebrating his mother during the Diamond Jubilee concert in front of Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2012.
McCartney previously met the queen as a member of the Beatles in November 1963. Two years later, all four of the band’s members were named Members of the Order of the British Empire. In 1997, McCartney was knighted by the queen. A year later, Elton John earned the same honor.
In October 2014, the queen named Oscar winner Angelina Jolie an honorary dame due to her work fighting war zone sexual violence and for her services to U.K. foreign policy.
Queen Elizabeth beamed when she greeted British soccer great David Beckham before the queen’s Young Leaders awards ceremony on June 26, 2018, at Buckingham Palace. Beckham previously met the queen several times and received the Officer of the Order of the British Empire title (OBE) from her in 2003.
The queen greeted President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, at Windsor Castle on July 13, 2018. Trump also met with Queen Elizabeth the following year at Buckingham Palace.
Queen Elizabeth smiled while speaking with President Joe Biden at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2021. Biden and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, traveled to the U.K. so that the president could participate, along with other world leaders, in the two-day Group of Seven summit in Cornwall.