Portraying a royal, and in particular a queen, onscreen carries with it a certain honor and grace – so it’s no wonder that some of Bollywood’s biggest stars have taken the throne in movies. It takes immense command on the character to portray a queen or a princess on screen. And more than that, it is difficult to keep your superstar air behind and hop into the shoes of a queen who existed a couple of centuries ago. Wearing terrifically heavy jewelry and dresses, these actresses have proved that taking a dive back in time isn’t a problem for them.
Let’s have a look into some of the most iconic royal characters played by Bollywood divas.
Kangana Ranaut – Manikarnika
Kangana Ranaut was seen as Rani Lakshmibai, the warrior queen of Jhansi in the movie Manikarnika. The film was based on the life of Rani Lakshmibai and her fight with the British East India Company during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Deepika Padukone – Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani
Deepika essayed the role of queen Padmavati while Shahid Kapoor played her husband – Maharawal Ratan Singh. Despite the controversies the film faced, Deepika’s brilliant performance in the movie remains an undisputed fact. From the subtle romantic moments she shared with Shahid to the ones where she was supposed to be the king’s real strength – Deepika aced all emotions.
Deepika Padukone’s calm and composed manner as Mastani in Bajirao Mastani ruled several hearts even to this day. Although, she looks beautiful in everything she dons, but DP as Mastani is engraved on our hearts forever.
Priyanka Chopra – Bajirao Mastani
When someone mentions Kashi Bai, it reminds me of the iconic dialogue ‘Aap humse humari zindagi maang lete, hum aapko khushi khushi de dete, par aapne toh humse humara guroor hi cheen liya’. With no heavy jewelry or costumes, Priyanka outshone as Kashi Bai in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani. Her role was not only remarkable but she showed her utmost competence through this film and character!
Aishwarya Rai – Jodha Akbar
With minimal makeup and extremely weighty jewelry, Aishwarya Rai gave us a realistic glimpse of what Jodha Bai must have looked like centuries ago. The wedding ensemble she wore in the film was the most difficult to carry. It weighed around 3.5 kgs! And despite the weight, Aish managed to sport a calm and composed countenance on her face.
Hema Malini – Razia Sultan
In the movie Razia Sultan, dream girl Hema Malini portrayed the role of a lifetime – as the 13th-century queen of the Slave dynasty – Razia Sultan. The role of Razia comes with a huge responsibility considering that she was one of the first warrior queens who inherited the throne. Well, it was Hema Malini and with her hubby Dharmendra too being a part of the cast, the actress pulled off this role of a leader with panache!
Rekha – Sheshnaag
This multi starrer movie saw Rekha as the queen of snakes, Sheshnaag. She beautifully portrayed the role and was appreciated by critics and fans alike. The movie also stars Jeetendra and Rishi Kapoor in pivotal roles.
Anushka Shetty – Arundhati, Baahubali
In the film Arundhati she played the role of queen Arundhati. The actress who had mostly been seen in glamorous roles thus far, transformed into a performer who could shoulder an entire film.
Next, in the Baahubali franchise, she was seen as a princess and later Amarendra Baahubali’s queen, Devasana. Anushka was absolutely regal as the queen.
Jaya Parda – Luv Kush
The movie which is based on Ramayan, had actress Jaya Prada in the role of Sita while Jeetendra played Lord Ram. Arun Govil, who is famous for portraying Ram onscreen, played the role of Lakshman in this movie. The movie focused on the episode of the Rama Empire after his exile.
Ramya Krishnan – Baahubali
Ramya Krishnan portrayed the unflappable Rajmata Sivagami in the movie Baahubali. She made the character epic with her impeccable dialogue delivery. Reportedly, the role was previously offered to Sridevi but she rejected it.
Karishma Kapoor – Zubeida
It’s been more than a decade, cinephiles still remember Karisma Kapoor’s one of the best performances on the big screen. It was her essaying the role of a queen Zubeida in Shyam Benegal’s period film, Zubeida. Karisma’s beauty and volume of emotions were critically lauded at that time. She was seen opposite Manoj Bajpayee in the movie.
Vyjayanthimala – Amrapali
The veteran actress played the role of queen Amrapali in this 1996 released movie. She not only played the role convincingly but looked equally elegant and graceful on screen. In the movie, she was paired opposite Sunil Dutt.
Tabu – Fitoor
In the movie Fitoor, Tabu played Begum Hazrat whose character seems to be inspired by Miss Havisham- a popular character from Charles Dicken’s novel “Great Expectations.” Even though the lead pair looks gloriously too good-looking, the phenomenal actress Tabu stole the thunder!
Aditi Rao Hydari – Padmaavat, Fitoor
Beautiful actress Aditi Rao Hydari played a younger version of Begum Hazrat in the movie ‘Fitoor’. Next, she featured in the period drama Padmaavat as Alauddin Khilji’s wife Mehrunissa.
Ileana D’Cruz – Baadshaho
Actress Ileana D’Cruz, played Rani Gitanjali Devi in a royal family of Rajasthan in the film Baadshaho. The movie was set during the emergency era of 1975 when Rani Gitanjali’s palace in Jaipur was raided for gold. Though the movie didn’t do well, Ileana’s portrayal of a vamp was widely appreciated.