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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.