From Marilyn Monroe to Lady Gaga: How the Queen charmed the stars
The Queen encountered hundreds of showbiz stars, pop legends and Hollywood greats over the decades.
Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Madonna were just some of the well-known celebrities who delighted in greeting the monarch with a curtsy or a bow.
Glittering film premieres, Buckingham Palace receptions for the arts, Royal Variety Performances, Jubilee concerts, and investitures to honour those in the music or the movie industry saw the sovereign meet many famous faces during her official duties.
The Queen was never fazed, but even some of the most well-known performers admitted to nerves as they waited in line to speak to the UK’s longest-serving head of state.
Actor and filmmaker Sir Kenneth Branagh once said he had no recollection of the conversation he had with the Queen.
“I have no idea, I was so nervous. It was a kind of dream and I couldn’t believe it was happening,” he said.
Sir Kenneth added: “I was terrified – terrified of stepping on dogs, the corgis are everywhere.”
The Queen came face to face with “James Bond” several times – meeting the 007 actors Sir Sean Connery, Sir Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig.
She even became a Bond Girl when she made a cameo appearance at Craig’s side in a spoof for the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony, in which the pair appeared to skydive into the stadium.
The monarch also met Superman – American actor Christopher Reeve – in 1978.
The Beatles came into contact with the Queen in 1965 when they collected their MBE medals at a palace investiture.
John Lennon returned his four years later, but Sir Paul McCartney went on to be knighted and to perform at the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee concerts.
England football captain David Beckham had several trips to the royal residences, and the Queen was also introduced to the Spice Girls.
Sir Elton John, will.i.am, Kylie Minogue and Jennifer Lopez all shook hands with the monarch backstage over the years, as did Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard after performances for the Queen.
Lady Gaga donned a red floor-length PVC gown with a 20ft cloak to meet the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Variety Show in 2009.
Her interaction with another celebrity of sorts delighted millions when she appeared in a surprise comic sketch with Paddington Bear, as part of the celebrations earlier this year honouring her 70-year reign.
The monarch and the bear met for a chaotic cream tea at Buckingham Palace in a special, secretly pre-recorded sequence played at the start of the televised BBC Platinum Party at the Palace event.
The duffle-coat wearing bear from Michael Bond’s books told the Queen how he made sure he always had his favourite treat on him, just in case, lifting up his red hat to reveal a marmalade sandwich.
The Queen delighted him in turn by saying she shared his love of the snack, as she opened her handbag to reveal a stash.
Another national treasure the monarch had a strong rapport with is Sir David Attenborough.
In 2018 the pair appeared together in a documentary programme that followed the progress of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project, a project to create a network of protected Commonwealth forests around the globe in tribute to the Queen’s service to the family of nations.
The ITV documentary, The Queen’s Green Planet, featured a unique and informal conversation between the head of state and the veteran presenter, filmed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
Sir David and the Queen had known each other for many years, with the broadcaster producing the Queen’s televised Christmas Day address for more than five years in the 1980s and 1990s.
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox