Doctor Who, the show with the time and space traveller, The Doctor, their faithful companions, and the TARDIS, has been on the air for the past 60 years. To celebrate King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla’s Coronation today, we’re talking you through Doctor Who & The Royal Family’s appearances. I’ll be starting with Queen Victoria and her involvement with Torchwood, up to Queen Elizabeth the Second and her feelings about Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor compared to his feelings about Elizabeth.
Richard I and Henry VIII
King Richard the I of England was only significant in one story of the show, The Crusade— Season 2, Serial 6. Saracens unexpectedly attacked Richard and his soldiers. Luckily, they received assistance from the First Doctor (Willian Hartnell), Ian Chesterton (William Russell), and Vicki Pallister (Maureen O’Brien).
They convinced Richard to rescue Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) and William des Preaux from Saladin. As a gesture of gratitude, Richard honoured Ian by knighting him with the title of Sir Ian of Jaffa. Richard was portrayed by Julian Glover.
Henry VIII was a notorious King known primarily for having six wives. However, in the show, he had two extra wives. One was Amy Pond, and Rory’s response was, “To wedding vows! You just married Henry VIII on our anniversary.” as said in the Eleventh Doctor episode, The Power of Three, the other was Marilyn Monroe, let’s not get into that too much.
Lady Jane Grey
Moving onto Lady Jane Grey, played by Amber Beattie, the nine-day Queen. The date was 19th of July, 1553, and this time the Doctor didn’t see the monarch, oh no! Rani Chandra did in Lost in Time, a The Sarah-Jane Adventures episode. In this episode, Rani was given a mission to retrieve something. However, she played along as Lady Rani Chandra— the queen’s new lady-in-waiting.
Luckily, Rani recovered the item. However, before using it to return to the present day, she comforted Jane while preparing for her final day of power. Lady Grey had a suspicion that Rani was an angel. This belief, though unfounded, gave her an added sense of strength and confidence.
Queen Elizabeth I (Good Queen Bess)
The Virgin Queen, Good Queen Bess, whatever you want to call her, Queen Elizabeth I. She’s an interesting Queen in the world of Doctor Who. First appearing mainly in The Shakespeare Code was when the Tenth Doctor and Martha were speaking with the titular William Shakespeare. Elizabeth went and called the Doctor her “sworn enemy” and commanded her guards to execute him, using the words “Off with his head!” In this specific episode, she was portrayed by Angela Pleasence.
The year was 1562, and Queen Elizabeth had a picnic with the Tenth Doctor due to his suspicion that she was a Zygon. However, things took a turn when the Tenth Doctor wanted to see Elizabeth’s reaction to him proposing to her and making her no longer the Virgin Queen. Let’s say she wasn’t the Zygon Queen. The Doctor later married Elizabeth— played by Joanna Page, which we can see in Day of the Doctor. After the Doctor was not with her during the marriage, her hatred for the Doctor grew.
King James I
King James I, Gunpowder Plot monarch and played by Alan Cumming, is another monarch with only one televised story, the Thirteenth Doctor episode, The Witchfinders, with companions Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan, Tosin Cole as Ryan Sinclair, and Bradley Walsh as Graham O’Brien. Throughout the episode, the Doctor’s authority and expertise are repeatedly undermined by the misogyny and discrimination of James I, who cannot accept a woman in a position of power.
Queen Victoria, the second-longest-ruling monarch in the country, was Queen of the United Kingdom from 1837 until she died in her sleep in 1901. Whilst Victoria was monarch, she became Empress of India. Did you know this Royal Family member is responsible for creating Torchwood? However, what involvement did she have with the show? Well, let’s see.
It was 1879, and the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose (Billie Piper) were attempting for 1979 for Rose to see Ian Dury live. However, it appeared that the young Tenth Doctor travelled to 1879. The Tenth Doctor mentioned that he was “Doctor James McCrimmon. From the… Township of Balamory” Rose and the Tenth Doctor follow the carriage to Balmoral Castle. However, on the way, Rose bets the Doctor “ten quid” that she can get the Queen to say, “I am not amused”. Pauline Collins portrayed Victoria.
Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II, the recently passed monarch, has had times when actresses have portrayed her in the show. Mary Reynolds portrayed her in the 1988 Seventh Doctor story, Silver Nemesis. There are two other episodes where Elizabeth is in, but one of the episodes actually has her. In The Idiot’s Lantern, the episode’s main premise is people buying televisions to watch the Queen’s Coronation.
The last episode is Voyage of the Damned when the Doctor is flying the S.S. Titanic, and he narrowly misses Buckingham Palace, and the Queen says, “Thank you, Doctor. Thank you. Happy Christmas!” Actress Jessica Martin provided the voice of The Queen in this episode.
I’m bringing up Christopher Eccleston because he isn’t the best supporter of the Monarchy— he’s a Republican. He was a strong opponent of Queen Elizabeth II. However, Elizabeth liked his Doctor very much, which is a confusing opposition of feelings to each other. Before purging his profile over on the social media app, Instagram, Eccleston had posts where, for example, he posted a picture of Queen Elizabeth II, and put the caption, “Parasite in chief in her idiot hat”, who, as of me writing this, 5 hours ago posted this:
We also had Russell T Davies doing a comedic post relating to “The Idiot’s Lantern” where he posted a picture of Dame Maureen Diane Lipman as the Wire, the antagonist of the episode, with the caption of the post being, “You cannot stop the Wire”.