Denise Welch has been cast as Queen Elizabeth II and fans are torn

Denise Welch at a press event
Denise Welch is taking on a very regal role! (Image credit: Getty Images)

Denise Welch has landed the role of the late Queen Elizabeth II in Diana the Musical, and the announcement has received quite a mixed reaction from fans!

Following in the footsteps of The Crown stars Claire Foy, Olivia Colman and Imelda Staunton, the Hollyoaks and Loose Women star is the next in line to the theatrical throne.

Denise will be starring in the musical adaptation of Princess Diana's life, alongside Kerry Ellis (Wicked, Anything Goes) and Maiya Quansah-Breed (Six) who are both taking on the role of Diana throughout her life.

WhatsOnStage has exclusively revealed: "This new concert version of the show will see the tale split into two parts, with an older Diana both narrating and reflecting back on her life and that of her 19-year-old self."

Announcing the news of her role on social media on Wednesday, June 14. Taking to Twitter, Denise wrote: "Queeeeeeeen!! Diana The Musical in concert. Dec 4th. Apollo Hammersmith."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this news has sent fans into a frenzy with many of them sharing their thoughts on Twitter. 

One called the news "the most iconic British pop culture moment in the 21st century" and another said "Denise Welch as the Queen, as she should."

However, some fans weren't as convinced by the casting with one asking if they were "living on a different planet" and another being confused about the very existence of the musical, so it hasn't been a hit for everyone!

The news comes after Denise Welch revealed she was taking a break from Loose Women for a little while, teasing she was going "on a little adventure".

And it seems she's got a busy few months coming up as she rehearses for Diana the Musical ahead of its winter performance at the Eventim Apollo on Monday, December 4. Tickets are on sale now and start from £26.75. 

The original Diana the Musical briefly ran on Broadway in 2021, which is now available to watch on Netflix. It starred Jeanna de Waal, Erin Davie, Roe Hartrampf, and Judy Kaye.

It was based on the book by playwright Joe DiPietro who also wrote The Toxic Avenger with music and lyrics by DiPietro and David Bryan.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Now she works for our sister site TechRadar in the same role. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress