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Thursday, October 6, 2022

The story of Jeannette Charles, the double of Queen Elizabeth II who can now be out of a job

It is said that we all have a double somewhere in the world. Queen Elizabeth II, who died this Thursday, September 8 at the age of 96, had hers right there, among one of her subjects, Jeanette Charles and, furthermore, she was her contemporary, barely a year and a half her junior.

What could have been an inconvenience and an inconvenience to everyday life, turned out to be a livelihood for Jeannette who, almost by chance, became his official impersonator and thusI starred in more than thirty films, playing the queen.

The life of a double or an imitator can be very strange: always work from being an anonymous version of someone famous. But for Jeannette it meant becoming famous thanks to her enormous resemblance to the longest-lived monarch in history.

The actress had to put herself in the shoes of one of the great figures in the history of the 20th century and show a profile that the true queen would never make public, especially in film comedies.

Jeannette Charles with Leslie Nelsen, in "The Naked Gun."

Jeannette Charles with Leslie Nelsen, in “The Naked Gun.”

The beginning, the chance of a painting

But his life as a stuntman began in a casual and movie-worthy way. It was in 1972, during the auction of a painting.

A painting arrived at the Royal Academy in London that was apparently a portrait of Elizabeth II. But as soon as someone took a closer look, the truth emerged. The person posing was not the queen of Great Britain but an ordinary citizen, Jeannette Charles, who she dedicated the painting to her husband, as a birthday present.

Beyond clarifying the situation immediately, his incredible resemblance to the queen meant for Charles the beginning of a curious film career in which he only played a character.

jeannette he began to receive offers to star in advertisements and requests for interviews rained down on him: everyone wanted to know who was the woman identical to His Majesty.

There where it was impossible to summon the queen for a scene (except for the recent exception where, on the occasion of the jubilee for her 70-year reign, Isabel was seen in a clip having tea with Paddington Beara very popular character in England), as if by magic, there was Jeannette and, moreover, as British as she was.

“I was interviewed for newspapers, magazines and radio and an agent told me that my resemblance to the queen could be a source of moneyCharles later told the newspaper Guardian.

Jeannette Charles, Queen Elizabeth's doppelganger, along with Clarín journalist Sandra Commisso.

Jeannette Charles, Queen Elizabeth’s doppelganger, along with Clarín journalist Sandra Commisso.

Thus, the actress filmed one movie after another, but taking great care in accept only those proposals that do not affect the real image or that could be offensive to the figure of Elizabeth II.

Her teenage dreams of becoming an actress were coming true, though not exactly as she had imagined. When she first applied to London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she managed to get accepted after an initial audition. But then she had to give up because the cost of a degree in that institution was too expensive.

financial support

The working-class young woman who was unable to make a career in the traditional style, curiously found her financial support in her double, the richest woman in Great Britain and one of the most powerful in the world.

Turning her life around, Jeannette decided to exploit their physical resemblance and, using her tools as an actress, observed and studied the behavior of Elizabeth II in detail to interpret it in dozens of movies and series.

So he worked on the naked gun with Leslie Nielsen and in Austin Powers in Goldmemberwith Mike Myers, All You Need Is Cash, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Queen Kong, among other productions.

But their physical resemblance was exploited to the fullest, to the point that the world of rock was also interested in having it in some video clips. “I’ve appeared on TV shows, opened supermarkets, helped magicians and filmed commercials all over the world. Bands wanted me for music videos and I handed out gifts with musician Liberace,” he recalled in Guardian.

Even He even delivered a silver disc to the band Queenin what was a brief but fun encounter between queens.

“Although it may not seem like it, I worked a lot and very hard,” he said. “I spent hours perfecting the queen’s voice and mannerisms and kept track of her every move so I could mention them in my speeches.”

His time in Argentina and his photo with Clarín

In her journey around the world, almost 30 years ago, Jeannette also passed through Argentina. At the height of her career as a double Elizabethan, she arrived in the country hired to film an advertisement for a brand of tea.

This chronicler went to interview her and the brief meeting was friendly and fun. Jeannette not only looked a lot like her queen (at least in the images we have of her from this side of the world), but she wasand behaved as such.

With sparse, careful gestures and few words, he said that he liked playing that role because it allowed him to work, travel the world and meet people. And he also remembered that, on one occasion, the real Elizabeth II had invited her to Buckingham Palace for tea. “He thanked me for doing my job with respect and I felt very honored,” she recalled.

Now 94, Jeannette Charles, a mother of three, has been living in retirement for nearly a decade due to arthritis. In these hours she will probably be saying goodbye to her sovereign with some tears.


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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com

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