Queen Elizabeth II and Marilyn Monroe Were the Same Age When They Met in London in 1956

Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe

Photo: Julian Calder for Governor-General of New Zealand via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0) (left); Bert Parry via Wikimedia Commons, Public domain (right)

Queen Elizabeth II and Marilyn Monroe look like two 20th-century figures who couldn't be more distant. One was the longest sovereign in British history, while the other was a bombshell from the Golden Age of Hollywood. And yet, these two figures shared a moment, building a bridge between two women who shaped history in their respective areas.

Since many associate Queen Elizabeth II with her regal portraits and Monroe with films from the 1950, it would be hard to believe they were actually the same age. As it turns out, they were not only born in the same year, but they were less than two months apart in age. The British monarch was born on April 21, 1926, while the American actress was born only 41 days later, on June 1, 1926.

By the mid-1950s, they were both well on their way along their respective paths. Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne in 1952, while some of Monroe's most popular films, like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, and How to Marry a Millionaire, were released between 1953 and 1955. In 1956, Monroe flew to the UK to film The Prince and the Showgirl, at Pinewood Studios in England, where she starred alongside Laurence Oliver. Her stay made her fascinated with the Queen, and she dreamed of having tea with the royal at Buckingham Palace.

While she didn't get invited over for tea, Monroe's wish to meet the Queen came true. During her time in London, Monroe was invited to the Royal Command Performance at the Empire Theatre. There, she lined up with other luminaries from the time, such as Joan Crawford and Brigitte Bardot to greet Queen and her sister, Princess Margaret. The moment was captured on video, showing both women excited to meet one another.

In her book When Marilyn Met the Queen, author Michelle Morgan recounts their conversation, in which the monarch asked the actress about her time in England. “The two then chatted for several minutes, and covered subjects including being neighbors and the Queen's beloved Windsor. ‘We love it,' Marilyn said. ‘As we have a permit my husband and I go for bicycle rides in the Great Park.'”

It has been said that by wearing a gold silk low-cut dress, Monroe didn't stick to protocol and defied previous requests made by officials. Hwoever, that didn't seem to phase the Queen. Instead, the monarch was taken aback by Monroe's makeup. She reportedly told a confidant, “I thought Miss Monroe was a very sweet person. But I felt sorry for her, because she was so nervous that she had licked all of her lipstick off.” As for Monroe, she had a very positive opinion on the encounter. “The Queen is very warm-hearted,” the actress said. “She radiates sweetness.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Marilyn Monroe, who were the same age, met in London in 1956. Watch the encounter below.

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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