Icons who met the Queen – from Mandela and Mother Teresa to the Spice Girls | Ents & art news

During more than 70 years as Queen and head of the Commonwealth, Elizabeth met many of the world’s most famous people.

She stood next to the biggest stars in Hollywood at movie premieres and received state visits from the most powerful politicians in the world.

From Frank Sinatra to Nelson Mandela and the Spice Girls to Mother Teresa, here are some of the other famous figures they’ve met the monarch.

Marilyn Monroe, shaking hands with the Queen at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, on the occasion of the 1956 Royal Film Performance.
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Marilyn Monroe shakes hands with the Queen at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square

Marilyn Monroe – 1956

The Queen was only a few weeks older than Marilyn Monroe when they met in London three years after the coronation.

Monroe shook hands with Her Majesty as she greeted the stars at the Royal Film performance of The Battle of the River Plate at the Empire Theater in Leicester Square.

Monroe died of an overdose in Los Angeles, California six years later.

The Queen and Princes Margaret attended the annual Royal Commander film screening at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square in London on the evening of 29 October 1956. The film chosen as the representative production this year was 'The Battle of the River Plate'.  The photo shows Princess Margaret looking to the left as French actress Brigitte Bardot greets the Queen in the theater foyer before the show's centerpiece is Dana Andrews.  (AP photo).  Photo: AP
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French actress Brigitte Bardot greets the Queen on the same evening. Photo: AP

Brigitte Bardot – 1956

On the same October evening, the Queen also met French actress and singer Brigitte Bardot.

Bardot made sure she was dressed appropriately, with elbow-length gloves and a satin ball gown.

The Queen and Sophia Loren 1957
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The Queen and Sophia Loren in 1957

Sophia Loren – 1957

The following year, at the Royal Film performance of Les Girls at the Odeon in Leicester Square, the Queen met Italian actress Sophia Loren.

It was the year Loren starred in The Pride and The Passion.

Frank Sinatra and the Queen
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Frank Sinatra met the Queen at the height of his fame

Frank Sinatra – 1958

Sinatra met the Queen at the height of his fame in 1958 at the Odeon Theater in Leicester Square at the premiere of Danny Kaye’s Me and the Colonel.

They met again in 1983 in the studios of 20th Century Fox.

John F Kennedy and the Queen 1961
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John F Kennedy and his wife Jackie met the Queen in 1961

John F Kennedy – 1961

The United States president and his wife Jackie had dinner at Buckingham Palace in June 1961.

There was thought to be tension between Mrs. Kennedy and the Queen, with reports claiming that the First Lady was “unimpressed with the palace furnishings, the Queen’s dress, and her haircut”.

They would later have had a state visit, but President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. The Queen met Jackie again when they unveiled a memorial to him in Runnymede

The Beatles at Buckingham Palace 1965
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The Beatles at Buckingham Palace 1965

The Beatles -1965

The Beatles first met the Queen in 1963 when they played the Royal Variety Performance.

They said to the crowd, “The people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands…and the rest, as long as you rattle your jewelry.”

Luckily for them, the Queen thought the joke was funny and the band got OBEs two years later.

Barbara Streisand and the Queen, 1975. Photo: AP
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Barbara Streisand and the Queen in 1975. Photo: AP

Barbara Streisand – 1975

American actress Barbra Streisand wore a striking lavender hooded cape to meet the Queen at the London premiere of Funny Lady in 1975.

Actress Elizabeth Taylor bows as she is greeted by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at the premiere of
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Elizabeth Taylor bows when greeted by Prince Philip

Elizabeth Taylor – 1976

Elizabeth Taylor and her husband John Warner met the Queen at a charity gala in Washington, four years after she rose to fame in Anthony and Cleopatra.

The couple was known for wearing the same color dress.

MOTHER TERESA MEETING QUEEN ELIZABETH II February 1986
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Mother Teresa met the Queen in India in 1983

Mother Teresa – 1983

The Queen met Mother Teresa in Delhi during her 1983 tour of India.

The Queen always expressed the deepest respect for her work and referred to her acts of selflessness in several of her speeches.

Princess Diana met Mother Teresa several times.

Queen and Cliff Richard, 1995
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The Queen and Cliff Richard in 1995

Sir Cliff Richard – 1995

Sir Cliff met the Queen several times and was a friend of Princess Diana.

He wore a striking gold blazer to meet Her Majesty at the Royal Variety Performance in London.

Queen and the Spice Girls, 1997
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The Queen and the Spice Girls in 1997

The Spice Girls – 1997

At the height of their international fame, the Spice Girls met the Queen after the Royal Variety Performance at London’s Victoria Palace Theater.

Many noticed their bold outfits for such a formal occasion.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets Madonna at the world premiere of the new James Bond film Die Another Day - starring the American star - at the Royal Albert Hall.
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Madonna met the Queen at the world premiere of the James Bond film Die Another Day

Madonna – 2002

The Queen of Pop met Her Majesty in the 2002 London premiere of the Bond film Die Another Day at the Royal Albert Hall.

Welcoming Nelson Mandela for a 1996 state visit to the UK
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Nelson Mandela made a state visit to the UK in 1996

Nelson Mandela – 2003

Mandela visited London in 2003 and received a reception at Buckingham Palace.

The pair met through Mandela’s involvement with the Rhodes Trust, which provided scholarships to overseas students to study at Oxford.

Queen and Sir Elton John, 2012
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The Queen shakes hands with Sir Elton John in 2012

Sir Elton John – 2008

Elton was knighted by the Queen in 1998 for his services to music. The year before, he sang at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

He again met the Queen backstage at her 2012 Diamond Jubilee concert where he performed.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth speaks alongside U.S. President Barack Obama at a state banquet at London's Buckingham Palace on May 24, 2011. Obama was treated to royal pomp at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday during a two-day state visit to the United States and Britain.
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Barack Obama has met the Queen several times

Barack Obama – 2009

President Obama first traveled to the United Kingdom in 2009 and then again in 2011.

He and his wife Michelle were received by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace on both occasions.

Mrs. Obama broke protocol by trying to give the Queen a hug, which she later said because the pair talked about uncomfortable shoes.

File photo dated 7/12/2009 of Queen Elizabeth II meeting American singer Lady Gaga after the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool.  Release Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022. Undeterred by celebrities, the monarch has met hundreds of showbiz stars, pop legends and Hollywood greats over the decades, but many admitted they were nervous when they came face-to-face with the famous long reigning sovereign.
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Lady Gaga, of course, wore an Elizabethan-style latex dress to meet the Queen.

Lady Gaga – 2009

Pop royalty Lady Gaga met the Queen after her Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool in 2009.

Gaga wore an Elizabethan-style latex dress and red glitter eye makeup.

Queen and Yoko Ono, 2011
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The Queen and Yoko Ono in 2011

Yoko Ono – 2011

Ono met the Queen years after her husband John Lennon was shot dead in America.

They met at the National Museum of Liverpool during a royal visit to Merseyside.

Queen and Angelina Jolie, 2014
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The Queen and Angelina Jolie in 2014

Angelina Jolie – 2014

Jolie received an honorary title for her outreach and campaign to end sexual violence in war-torn countries.

Queen and David Beckham, 2015
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The Queen and David Beckham in 2015

David Beckham – 2015

David Beckham first met the Queen in 2003 when he was awarded an OBE shortly after Manchester United won the league.

His wife Victoria received hers from Prince William 14 years later for services to the fashion industry.

David met the Queen in 2015 at a reception at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Young Leaders program.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II greets US President Donald Trump on arrival for the ceremonial welcome at Buckingham Palace, in London, UK on June 3, 2019. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS
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Donald Trump called the Queen ‘a wonderful person’

Donald Trump – 2019

Trump and his wife Melania were received by the Queen and Prince Philip during their state visit in 2019.

He also attended D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth. Trump adored the Queen and said she was a “wonderful person”.

Queen Elizabeth II alongside Sir David Attenborough after she presented both him and Julian Hector, head of the BBC Natural History Unit, with the 2019 Chatham House Prize at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London.
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Sir David Attenborough had a long friendship with the Queen

David Attenborough – 2019

Sir David Attenborough was friends with the Queen for over half a century and was knighted twice for services to television and conservation.

In 2016 Sir David spoke at a service at St Paul’s to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, and in 2019 the Queen – who was only a few weeks older than Attenborough – presented him with the Chatham House Prize.

Sir David had produced the Queen’s Christmas speech in 1986 and reportedly even chose the outfit she wore for it.

US President Joe Biden stands next to Britain's Queen Elizabeth as they meet at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, UK, June 13, 2021. Arthur Edwards/Pool via REUTERS
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Joe Biden visited the Queen at Windsor Castle last year

Jo Biden – 2021

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill met the Queen at Windsor Castle last year after the G7 summit in Cornwall.

Their visit included a guard of honor and tea in the castle.

Queen Elizabeth II greets Bill Gates at a reception for international business and investment leaders at Windsor Castle to mark the Global Investment Summit.  Date photo: Tuesday, October 19, 2021. PA Photo.  See PA story ROYAL Investment.  Photo credit must read: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA ​​Wire
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Bill Gates said he was ‘honoured’ to have met the Queen

Bill Gates – 2021

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates met the Queen at Windsor Castle after last year’s Global Investment Summit at a dinner to showcase the best of British innovation.

Upon learning of her death, Gates wrote on Twitter: “I am honored to have met HM Queen Elizabeth, and I am very sad to hear that she has passed away.”

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