We dreamcast the Royal Family in musical theatre

Imagine what it would be like if the Queen, princes, princesses, and duchesses performed on stage in your favourite West End shows.

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are almost upon us, with Elizabeth II marking an extraordinary 70 years on the throne. The nation gains an extra day’s bank holiday in honour of the grand occasion, meaning that 2-5 June is an extra-long bank holiday weekend.

Being a member of the British royal family is rather like playing a part on a global stage, so that got us wondering… What if Her Majesty and the other royals were dream cast in some of London’s current hit shows, giving platinum performances for this Platinum Jubilee? Which plays or musicals would suit them best, and would they take the lead roles or be a featured player? Join us for a game of Platinum Jubilee fantasy theatre casting!

The Queen as Mary Poppins from Mary Poppins

Of course, we must begin with Her Majesty: the star of the show for 70 long years. And who better to play Mary Poppins — the woman who is practically perfect in every way? The magical nanny, who is back in the West End in this jolly holiday of a musical, has natural authority, a fondness for wildlife (Mary counsels us to feed the birds; The Queen might prefer a horse or a corgi), and she continues to reign supreme, a reassuring fixture in a changing world. Add that spoonful of sugar to your Jubilee tea and raise a cup to Her Majesty. Cheers!

Book Mary Poppins tickets on London Theatre.

Prince Charles as Young Simba from The Lion King

The Prince of Wales has been the heir to the British throne for several decades — and counting. Although it looks like Prince Charles and other members of the royal family will take over more of The Queen’s duties as she lightens her load (and quite right too), he is still that monarch-in-waiting. So, what song from musical theatre is his natural choice? Surely it’s Young Simba’s “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from West End and Broadway long-runner The Lion King! You can toast the royal circle of life on the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, and ask the family if they feel the love tonight.

Book The Lion King tickets on London Theatre.

The Duchess of Cornwall as Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing

Prince Charles’s wife Camilla has been in his life for a long time, but it was only when they were in their late fifties that the couple finally tied the knot. (We’ll gloss over their earlier, er, romantic arrangements.) That longer road to marital bliss also features in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, currently playing at Shakespeare’s Globe — although Beatrice and Benedick are rather more combative beaux. There are other parallels too: the Duchess of Cornwall is a patron of numerous charities, which chimes with the similarly public-spirited Beatrice, and both women hold their own. Let’s hope she finds this Jubilee “as merry as the day is long.”

Book Much Ado About Nothing tickets on London Theatre.

Prince William as Peter in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Being in the royal family is rather like entering another world. In fact, you could equate it to stepping through that wardrobe and into Narnia. The Duke of Cambridge surely has the most in common with Peter Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which opens at the Gillian Lynne Theatre this summer. He too is the oldest sibling, and the one often tasked with resolving family drama or representing the tribe during key moments like the Jubilee. Prince William will also hope to ascend to the throne one day, just like King Peter the Magnificent — although his battles are less likely to involve wolves and witches (except of the metaphorical variety).

Book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tickets on London Theatre.

The Duchess of Cambridge as Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady

It’s strange to remember now, but when Kate Middleton first started dating Prince William, it was considered a shocking change in royal protocol. After all, the untitled Kate was just a “commoner”! Now, she was hardly a Cockney flower-seller, but she might have some sympathy with the class-crossing Eliza Doolittle, whose story is currently playing out in My Fair Lady at the London Coliseum. She could also exchange notes with the diva queens of Six, who had…let’s say mixed experiences marrying into the royal family. But Kate can match them all for fashion triumphs, while negotiating her own public role — as we’ll surely see again during this Jubilee week.

Book My Fair Lady tickets on London Theatre.

Prince Harry as Elphaba from Wicked and Elsa from Frozen

The wild card in the Windsor family, the Duke of Sussex has defected to Hollywood with his wife Meghan and relinquished his role as a senior royal. There’s a truce of sorts for the Jubilee, with The Queen set to meet his daughter Lilibet (named after Her Majesty), but that doesn’t mean Prince Harry is giving up the fight: following on from his revealing Oprah interview, there’s a tell-all autobiography in the works. That puts us in mind of outspoken West End icons like the gravity-defying Elphaba in Wicked or Princess “Let It Go” Elsa in Frozen. Whether that ends in tragedy or triumph for the Duke of Sussex is yet to be determined…

Book Wicked tickets on London Theatre.

Book Frozen tickets in London on London Theatre.

The Duchess of Sussex as Faye Treadwell from The Drifters Girl

It hasn’t been an easy road for actress-turned-duchess Meghan Markle, who seems to have come into conflict with just about everyone in the royal family and household — although sources definitely vary on who’s at fault there — plus constant attacks in the press. Sexism and racism certainly played a part in at least some of that drama, which means Meghan could probably succeed Beverley Knight as Faye Treadwell in West End musical The Drifters Girl. They’re both headstrong women too, and fully prepared to go to court to protect their brand. But will Harry ask her to “Save the Last Dance for Me” during this Jubilee truce? Let’s hope so.

Book The Drifters Girl tickets on London Theatre.

Princess Anne as Beverley Bass from Come From Away

The Queen’s eldest daughter is constantly lauded as the hardest-working member of the royal family, and will doubtless play her part in the Jubilee celebrations. She’s a trailblazer too, becoming the first British royal to compete in the Olympics in 1976, and has even been nominated for a Nobel Prize for her charity efforts. So, she would surely respect the great Beverley Bass, who became the first female captain in American Airlines history and whose cool professionalism was vital when her plane was grounded in Newfoundland on 9/11 – the incredible true story told in West End musical Come From Away. And what better anthem for the busy Princess Royal than “Me and the Sky”?

Book Come From Away tickets on London Theatre.

Originally published on

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