Jeannette Charles, Queen Elizabeth Impersonator Who Starred in “Austin Powers”, Dead at 96 — Same Age as Royal

Charles played Queen Elizabeth II in several projects during her time as an actress, and died at 96 — the same age as the royal upon her death in 2022

<p>ANL/Shutterstock</p> Jeannette Charles outside Buckingham Palace


Jeannette Charles outside Buckingham Palace

Jeannette Charles, an actress who appeared as Queen Elizabeth II in several projects throughout her acting career, has died. She was 96.

Charles' daughter Carol Christophi confirmed her mother's death in a statement to outlets including The Mirror and The Standard, saying, "Mum was a real character and a force of nature. She had an amazing life."

"She was always respectful of the Queen and adored the Royal Family," Christophi added, according to U.K. radio station LBC. "We will miss her dearly."

Representative information for Charles and Christophi was not immediately available.

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<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Jeannette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II in <em>The Naked Gun</em> (1988)


Jeannette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II in The Naked Gun (1988)

Related: Queen Elizabeth on Screen: All the Actresses Who've Portrayed the Late Monarch

As a professional "Queen Elizabeth lookalike," Charles played Her Majesty in several films, including National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985), The Naked Gun (1988) and the sequel Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002).

"Before I had children, I’d worked as an au pair and a typist, but I’d always wanted to act," the British actress wrote in a 2022 essay for The Guardian. "I’d been in amateur productions, had elocution lessons and even passed an audition for Rada."

"But the fees were too expensive, plus my looks counted against me – no matter what role I took on, I’d hear comments from the audience, and sometimes even laughter," she added.

That all changed when she "realized there might be a way of making my resemblance to the Queen work in my favor," Charles wrote.

<p>Michael Putland/Getty; Serge Lemoine/Getty</p> Jeannette Charles in September 1974 (L); Queen Elizabeth II circa 1977

Michael Putland/Getty; Serge Lemoine/Getty

Jeannette Charles in September 1974 (L); Queen Elizabeth II circa 1977

Related: Royal Family Pays Birthday Tribute to 'Incredible Life and Legacy' of Queen Elizabeth

"Over the next 40 years, I appeared on TV chatshows, opened supermarkets, assisted magicians and shot adverts all over the world," she continued. "Bands wanted me for music videos, and I handed out gifts with Liberace and presented a silver disc to the band Queen."

But it was important for Charles to ensure she was not "disrespectful to the royal family," explaining, "I’ve always been a staunch royalist and respect the Queen — I would never do anything that reflected badly on the monarch or myself."

"Over the years I’ve turned down large sums to pose for Page 3-type pictures, and insisted I should never be introduced as the Queen when making appearances," she wrote. "I don’t think anyone else had earned a living by resembling someone famous before — now there’s a whole industry."

Charles retired from acting in 2014, where she lived out the remainder of her life at her home in Essex, England, LBC reports.

She was predeceased by her husband, with whom she shared daughter Christophi and two sons, according to The Telegraph.

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