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Michael Jibson (King George) in Hamilton (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

These characters rule! Theatre’s top 10 royals

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements Published May 18, 2018

This week, Britain will be gaining another royal when Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry. To celebrate the royal wedding, we’re rounding up our favourite royals in the theatre that should have been invited to the upcoming nuptials in our honest opinion.

Disney's The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre (Photo: Dewynters Photography)

King Simba from Disney’s The Lion King

Though the young prince had a rocky and tragic transition into his Kingship, the eventual ruler of The Pride Lands wins not only the kingdom but our hearts, too. From adorable cub to strapping lion, Simba’s journey takes him on a path of discovery and righteousness that is both relatable and inspirational. Facing your fears and your past. Now THAT’S a royal we can look up to.

The King And I at London Palladium

The King Of Siam from The King & I

Based on the 19th-century king of Thailand, King Mongkut, The King Of Siam is an unconventional ruler who brings technology and western culture and language to his kingdom. In the beloved musical, the modernist king brings an English teacher, Anna, to his palace to teach his many wives and children. Not only is the king forward-thinking, he’s also charming and wins over Anna… and us with her.

Adrienne Warren in Tina - The Tina Turner Musical (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Tina Turner from Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Touted as the Queen Of Rock, Tina Turner is undeniably pop royalty. And as the musical based on her life just opened at Aldwych Theatre, she’s recently become theatre royalty, too. A real rags-to-riches story, Tina’s rise to the top is one of suffering and sheer determination. Beating the odds, she wins her title by battling racial, gender and age discrimination to become simply the best. Yas, queen.

Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre - Book tickets today

Michael Jackson from Motown The Musical and Thriller Live

From the Queen Of Rock to the King Of Pop. Michael Jackson was such a big influence on pop culture and music, his story is being told on the West End twice. Though Michael had some troubled times, his music always shone and earned him the eternal and majestic title.

Dawn French starring as The Wicked Witch in Snow White at the London Palladium

The Wicked Queen from Snow White

Michael Jackson once asked ‘who’s bad?’ and no one’s quite as bad as The Wicked Witch – I mean, the level of badness is even in her name. Everyone loves a baddie and the conniving villain from Snow White is one of the worst. Throw in some magic, some apples, and a talking mirror, what is there not to love about this eternal enemy? Add a beautiful princess and seven distinctive characters to rival the queen and you’re onto a classic.

Disney's Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

Aladdin from Disney’s Aladdin

Also on the bad scale – at least from a legal point of view – is Aladdin, the Prince Of Thieves. The lovable petty criminal helped save a whole kingdom from an evil sorcerer and married a princess making him an official prince. Yes, he lied and robbed (obviously) to become victorious, but with that charm, it wasn’t just the lamp he stole when he entered that cave of wonders.

Lola from Kinky Boots

Strutting her way onto our list is the West End’s most famous drag queen, Lola. She helped Charlie Price create a kingdom of footwear and did it all in those infamous Kinky Boots. With no lip-syncing in sight, the queen of queens deserves her musical theatre’s throne.

The Sleeping Beauty at The London Coliseum

Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty

Now, we don’t condone sleeping on the job but when you have a wicked fairy after you, you can’t be blamed really, can you? She’s one of the world’s timeless characters and her story has been told in every medium. Aurora is the quintessential fairy princess and we love her for it.

Hamlet from Hamlet

Often cited as the people’s favourite Shakespeare play, Hamlet is one popular prince. Okay, so we may have brushed upon his life story while describing Simba, but the Prince Of Denmark deserves his own shout out. All the greats have played him. Recent years have seen Sherlock rivals Andrew Scott and Benedict Cumberbatch take on the infamous role. And prior to that, Ian McKellen, Laurence Olivier, Kenneth Branagh, Jonathan Pryce, and Mark Rylance have all chatted the metaphorical ear off a skull. Now, not many roles can boast that cast list, can they?

Michael Jibson (King George) in Hamilton (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

King George III from Hamilton

He appears for just eight minutes but King George III rules the stage in Hamilton. The villainous king may not be a role model but he ain’t half funny. His loosened grip on America and his cool makes him both slightly terrifying and relatable. He’s the world leader we love to hate… sounds familiar, no?

If you’re royally excited by the characters on this list, you can see most of them IRL at the theatre! Explore London’s shows, here.

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