Mary Reynolds has been impersonating Queen Elizabeth II for more than 30 years, but she has now hung up her faux crown out of respect to the late monarch.
The 89-year-old look-alike was told as a teenager that she resembled the queen, who died last week at age 96. Reynolds began her professional career as a royal imposter in 1988 and has appeared in movies and on television.
“It’s been a great privilege to look like her because I think she’s so incredible,” Reynolds told Britain’s PA news agency. “I mean, it’s a change of an era now, it’s all going to be very weird.”
The Sussex resident is hanging onto her royal wardrobe, and may still don the coat-and-dress ensembles if she was going “somewhere special,” she said.
Her fake royal highness appeared in the 1990 comedy film “Bullseye,” alongside the late Sir Roger Moore. She also had a role in an episode of “Doctor Who” in 1988. She even has her own website.
But the time has come to put aside all things related to being a pretend monarch.
After Buckingham Palace announced the death last Thursday of Britain’s longest-serving royalty, Reynolds said she was approached by a Russian TV outlet to appear in costume.
“There was something about a Russian television company wanting to do something with me, and they wanted to see me dressed up and I said, ‘The only way I would dress up as the Queen would be in a black dress,'” she said.
Reynolds was present at Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 at age 26, following the death of her father, King George VI, from lung cancer. The ceremony was the first live broadcast in British television history.
“I slept overnight in the road with my boyfriend, in tents,” Reynolds recalled. “We got very wet and we got very lucky because one of the buildings there had a radio so we actually heard the whole of the service.
“And as they put the crown on her head, the heavens opened,” Reynolds said.
Throughout all of her “royal” appearances, the look-alike tried to impart the real dignity and grace exuded by Queen Elizabeth II.
“She was a person who was so much light, and she was a very well-loved person and friends with everybody,” Reynolds said. “She just felt like part of the family.”
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