Archive footage of Queen Elizabeth II meeting Marilyn Monroe at a royal engagement in the 1950s recently resurfaced online, with fans loving the warm interaction between the monarch and the movie star.
Elizabeth and Monroe met publicly only once, at the 1956 Royal Film Performance in London’s Leicester Square attended by stars such as Brigitte Bardot, Anita Ekberg and Joan Crawford. Monroe, who was making The Prince and The Showgirl in Britain with Laurence Olivier at the time, also joined the festivities.
Though the queen and Monroe seemed like they couldn’t be more different, they did share an important link in common—their age. Both were born in 1926—Elizabeth in April and Monroe in June.
At their meeting, both women were 30 years old. Monroe would die just six years later, while the queen lived to the age of 96, passing away in September 2022.
One of the most popular videos showing Elizabeth and Monroe’s brief interaction at the Royal Film Performance was uploaded to TikTok by user r0yal_diana, whose video received more than 200,000 views and 31,000 likes at the time of writing.
In the video, set to Panic! at the Disco’s “House of Memories,” Monroe grins and looks around excitedly as the queen exits her car. The Some Like It Hot star holds out her hand and curtsies as the queen approaches the receiving line and gives her a warm smile. The two share a brief conversation, which is inaudible in the clip.
A number of commenters praised both women after watching the TikTok video.
@r0yal_diana Queen Elizabeth II and Marilyn Monroe❤️ #queenelizabeth #queenelizabethii #queen #marilynmonroe #marilynmonroeedit #rainhaelizabeth #elizabethii #queenelizabeeth #r0yaldiana #dianareingsforever #lilibeth #rainhabethinha ♬ som original – Princess Diana 💗
One TikTok user wrote: “The greatest meeting of women who admired each other, and they were admired by the whole world.”
“Ngl [not going to lie] Marylin seemed so excited!!,” said a commenter, while another wrote: “I could see them as two peas in a pod [to be honest].”
Though the queen did not publicly reveal her impression of meeting Monroe, the actress reportedly told members of the press that she felt Elizabeth “radiates sweetness.”
“The Queen is very warm-hearted,” author Michelle Morgan wrote in her 2022 biography When Marilyn Met the Queen: Marilyn Monroe’s Life in England.
“She radiates sweetness. She asked how I liked living in Windsor, and I said, ‘What?!’ and she said that as I lived in Englefield Green, near to Windsor, we were neighbors. So, I told her that Arthur [Miller] and I went on bicycle rides in the park.”
Someone who was not impressed with Monroe’s royal greeting was Joan Crawford, who famously disapproved of the young star’s over-sexualized image.
“The queen is a lady and expects to meet other ladies, but most of today’s actresses can’t even act politely,” Crawford is quoted by biographer Shaun Considine as saying after the film performance. “That night, as Her Majesty came up the stairs, Monroe’s hairdresser was still doing her hair. And the girl didn’t even know how to curtsy.”
Today, members of the royal family still come face to face with Hollywood celebrities at royal film performances. Most recently, Prince William and Kate Middleton met actor Tom Cruise in London’s Leicester Square to attend a charity screening of Top Gun: Maverick.
The royals’ appearance caused a wave of online discourse after Cruise was seen offering the princess his hand as she climbed a flight of stairs, whereafter she appeared to switch which hand she was holding her evening bag which prevented him from repeating the offer.