Throughout her remarkable 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II frequently visited the sets of the biggest soap operas in the country.
After an amazing seven decade reign on the throne, Her Majesty passed away peacefully on Thursday at the age of 96 at her Scottish residence in Balmoral.
She had previously been described as being ‘comfortable’ and under medical supervision when news of her death broke.
Around 6.30 p.m., a statement from Buckingham Palace read: “The Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”
Following the Queen’s passing, famous soap operas EastEnders, Emmerdale, and Coronation Street were canceled on Thursday, and celebrities from all over the world paid tribute to her.
The Queen paid various visits to the aforementioned soap opera sets throughout her career; her most recent stop was just over a year ago.
Coronation Street in 1982
Her Majesty’s first visit to the home of all things serial drama took place in 1982, when Coronation Street, which at the time was incredibly popular, switched to an outdoor set for production.
On May 5 of the relevant year, the Queen and Prince Phillip visited the set to formally open it.
After that, they visited the named street and met Tony Warren, the creator of the show, Bill Podmore, and H.V. Kershaw joined the ITV soap opera’s cast members who were gathered outside the homes of their respective characters, including Eileen Derbyshire (Emily Bishop), William Roache (Ken Barlow), and Anne Kirkbride (Deirdre Barlow).
The Queen in Coronation Street, an ITV program, broadcast the event live because it was thought to be so important at the time.
EastEnders in 2001
On November 28, 2001, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip made another foray into the world of soap operas when they visited the EastEnders set. At the time, the show was going through one of its best creative and viewership runs ever.
Barbara Windsor and Wendy Richard, who played Pauline Fowler in the venerable soap opera Peggy Mitchell, gave the Royal couple a 45-minute tour of Albert Square, Walford, and the surrounding areas.
At the time, Barbara remarked, “I know she’s not an EastEnders fan, but it’s wonderful she’s here.” I support the monarchy and adore the Prince of Wales, and Camilla enjoys watching EastEnders.
The Queen was captured in a photo behind the bar of The Queen Vic with Barbara and Steve McFadden, who performs the role of Phil Mitchell, Peggy’s on-screen son.
What an amazing occasion.
Emmerdale in 2002
The Queen visited Emmerdale the very next year, in 2002, when she arrived in the not-so-sleepy little village.
The monarch was given a 40-minute tour of the ITV soap opera’s set, much like she had during her visit to Walford. She was shown the bed and breakfast and, of course, the serial drama’s iconic pub, The Woolpack.
The Queen was present when the post office on the show was bombed as part of a plot, and while Elizabeth Estensen, who played Diane Sugden in the above photo, was startled by the blast, it was said that Queen Elizabeth was unconcerned.
When the explosion went off, she remained calm as a cucumber, according to Mark Charnock, who plays Marlon Dingle. The remainder of the group “jumped out of our skins.”
Stan Richards (Seth Armstrong), Paula Tilbrook (Betty Eagleton), Deena Payne (Viv Hope), and Tony Audenshaw, among others, were interviewed by The Monarch (Bob Hope).
Paula Tilbrook stated at the time that even though she was aware that The Queen Mother watched Emmerdale, she opted not to inquire as she felt it might be a little “embarrassing” if Queen Elizabeth herself watched the show.
Coronation Street in 2021
On July 8, 2021, Her Majesty would return to the cobblestones 40 years after her previous visit.
She strolled through Weatherfield’s cobblestone streets, chatted with some of the cast members who had been there the longest, and even went to the Rovers Return.
ITV chairman Sir Peter Bazlegette and John Whiston, managing director of ongoing drama, greeted the Queen.
She interacted with Iain MacLeod, the show’s executive producer, as well as actors William Roache, Barbara Knox, Sue Nicholls, and Helen Worth, among many others she met while there.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Coronation Street had undergone some changes in terms of filming at the time, and the soap stars present on the occasion informed Her Majesty of them.
They described how, despite the first national lockdown, the crew was only able to broadcast continuously for a few weeks.
The queen was led to Studio 1 by ITV CEO Dame Carolyn McCall, where she met with additional cast members on the Rovers Return set.
Charlotte Jordan and Ruxandra Porojnicu, who play Daisy Midgeley and Alina Pop, were interviewed by Her Majesty.
Charlotte spoke to the Queen about her character Daisy and expressed her love for the role.
The ITV soap opera celebrated 60 years of broadcasting just months prior to the Queen’s visit.