As you’ve surely already heard, well, everywhere, Queen Elizabeth II died last Thursday, prompting an international outpouring of grief, ridicule, and disbelief over the reality of certain British traditions that will likely continue for weeks if not months to come. The impacts of this unprecedented historical event on the economy are evident; brands are hustling to pay their respects online, the Queen’s face dystopically adorns digital billboards across the UK, and the country has entered a two-week period of mourning in advance of the funeral, which will see businesses, schools, and even hospitals shut down to pay their respects. But through all this news coverage, one profession has been woefully left out of the conversation: won’t anyone think of the celebrity impersonators?
One brave soul is finally speaking out. 89-year-old Mary Reynolds, who has made a career out of her resemblance to the Queen for the past 34 years, has decided to retire her color-blocked suits “out of respect” for the late monarch. “The only way I would dress up as the Queen would be in a black dress,” she told PA Media (via Newsweek).
Reynolds has portrayed the queen in multiple film and television roles over the past three decades, including the 1990 comedy Bullseye! and a season 25 episode of Doctor Who. But now, the lookalike will be stepping out of the spotlight for good. “It’s been a great privilege to look like her because I think she’s so incredible,” she said. “I mean, it’s a change of an era now, it’s all going to be very weird.”
Like the rest of the world, Hollywood will have to adapt to this new reality, one in which we will inevitably have to endure an endless parade of portrayals of Her Royal Highness that just feel... off. We have no doubts that Imelda Staunton will do the role justice in the next season of The Crown (whenever it resumes production)—but it just won’t be the same.