From Peter O’Toole to Helen Mirren: Learning the Royal Family Tree by the Actors Who Played Them


In portraying George VI in The King’s Speech, Colin Firth brings us one step closer to being able to fill out the Royal Family's entire family tree with the famous elite, ermine-clad British actors who have played them. After all, what easier way to memorize the lineage than to mnemonically substitute the faces of Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson, and Anthony Hopkins for Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Catherine, and King Richard I? So as a study aid for all of you Windsorphiles, Vulture has put together a family tree reaching all the way from the onscreen Plantagenets of 1183 (A Lion in Winter) to today's Queen Mum (The Queen). A few notes: Owing to the startling number of BBC mini-series devoted to boring English kings, this family tree focuses — with the exception of The Tudors's Jonathan Rhys Meyers — only on film portrayals. It also skips over sovereigns who never appeared in a movie, so William of Orange diehards should seek fanfic elsewhere. On to the royals!