Damian Lewis Plays a Tudor King but Hangs out with the Windsors :D

Damian Lewis will be one of the leads at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations to be broadcast on ITV on May 15. BritBox North America has also announced that it would exclusively stream the celebrations in the UK live on May 15. You can go here for subscription for Britbox US. The live-streaming will begin at 3:30 PM ET / 12:30 PM PT on Sunday.

We know that Damian is no stranger to the Royal Family. While he may play a Tudor King, we have  seen him hanging out with the Windsors in recent years. And as we cannot wait to see him as part of  the celebrations to honor the Queen’s 70 years of public service, why don’t we take a walk in memory lane and remember the fun moments Damian had with the members of  the  Royal family?


source: USA Today

USA Today, in an interview about Wolf Hall and Henry VIII, asks Damian what it is that makes the Royal Family so intriguing:

“They provide a lot of stories. I think they are best and they are great ambassadors for the country but they provide fairy tales… Prince Charles and Princess Diana fairytale which you guys over here… goodness… you know… just lapped up and they become great sources of fascination… “

Well, well,  it is not just America! I was an 8 year old kid in Turkey on the day Charles and Diana got married. I was glued to the TV during the entire ceremony and loved it when they kissed on the balcony. And, believe me, I was this little girl who never fancied being a princess and never played with dolls or Barbies. To this day, my fascination with Prince Charles and Princess Diana is a mystery to me. Who knows maybe it is the fairy tale aspect that Damian is talking about….  Anyway… back to Damian!

“Will and Katherine’s is another fairy tale… slightly different type of fairy tale… the first middle class, less aristocratic princess in Kate Middleton… that’s the sign of the times… Currently, I think the queen maintains a dignity and an integrity in spite of everything that can be thrown at her or her family. She is a figurehead and I think a reason to believe in the monarchy still…”

Well, if the Queen is a reason to believe in the monarchy, Damian is a reason to pay attention to the Tudor era 😀 And the press, in particular, in connection to Damian playing King Henry VIII loves talking about his upper class upbringing, his grandfather being the Lord Mayor of London and his mother’s side having a couple of royal titles. Is Damian royal? Well, he says in an interview with Cigar Aficianado that his family made its money during the Industrial Revolution. Yes, his maternal grandfather was Lord Mayor of London and his mother’s side has titles going back for a few generations but they are baronets, purchased titles, and not real nobility.

source: BBC

Damian goes on to explain the difference between the Mayor of London, a political position, and Lord Mayor of London, a position borne out of an old tradition of merchants, at Times Talks. The guilds of London were established as early as in the 13th century to ensure the goods traded in the city meet some particular quality. And the merchants whose goods met that quality became freeman of the city: They could pass the Thames into the city toll free and trade freely. It turns out Damian’s family had a connection to the merchant guild of Haberdashers and his grandfather was a Haberdasher. Based on the information he gives, his grandfather should be Lieutenant Colonel Sir Ian Frank Bowater. And Damian’s brother William, another haberdasher, was the Sheriff of London and then he served as the Lord Mayor of London.

At The New Yorker Festival, Damian feels the urge to explain his brother is no Wyatt Earp: “

“It’s not Wyatt Earp. He doesn’t have a big mustache, and a hat and a long black coat. Or a gun. Which I would like to say, is a good thing.”

I cannot agree with it more!

Well, then, it should not be surprising for anyone that the guy who has Baronets and Sheriffs in his family and who brings to life the most famous Tudor king on small screen is hanging out with the Windsors 😀

source: @IrishGuardsBand

Damian participated in the final night of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations at Windsor Castle back in 2016. The celebration, filmed live on castle grounds, was about narrating the Queen’s life story as the longest-reigning British monarch from her birth in 1926 to present day. And our guy was among the crowd greeting the Queen and Prince Philip as they arrived for the final night of special birthday celebrations…

source: Getty Images
source: Getty Images

… And then he was on stage introducing a horse battalion in connection to some historic moments in queen’s life… Well, everyone knows that the queen LOVES horses! But did you know that her love for horses worked some wonders for Damian, too? 🙂 Curious? Then read on!

source: Getty Images
source: Getty Images

Both Damian and Helen are ambassadors for The Prince’s Trust, a charity founded by Prince Charles 40 years ago, that help disadvantaged young people to find jobs or get education and training.

And when they attended the Trust’s Invest in Future fund-raising gala a few years ago, Damian could not help “teach” Prince Charles some history lesson… Hey, don’t forget, he’s some kingly king, too!

Programme Name: Wolf Hall - TX: n/a - Episode: Generics (No. 1) - Picture Shows: King Henry VIII (DAMIAN LEWIS) - (C) Company Productions Ltd - Photographer: Giles Keyte
source: BBC

As the duo talk about Damian playing Henry VIII in Wolf Hall, Damian goes:

“You know he invented ‘Your Majesty’? No monarch before Henry VIII was ‘Your Majesty’, because monarch wasn’t enough.”

Charles: “They teach us to read and everything, Sir!”

And Helen’s words on the exchange are PRICELESS 🙂

“Only my husband could give the future king of England history lessons on the monarchy.”

Damian and Helen also visited The Prince’s Trust as part of the Trust’s 40th birthday celebrations and had a chat with Charles as well as the Queen. In fact, it is at this visit Damian thanks the Queen for giving him a fantastic tip for Royal Ascot.
source: zimbio.com
source: Getty Images

It turns out Damian and Helen met the Queen earlier in 2013 at Windsor Castle when she received a honorary BAFTA. And, the Queen, being the horse-racing expert that she is, gave them a tip or two.

Are they talking about the races? 🙂 Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory meet the Queen at Windsor Castle, 2013

Damian tells:

“I asked for the Grand National, because that’s the only time we’re there, and she said ‘no, no, no, that’s miles away – you need tips for Royal Ascot first.’ She gave me a tip for Royal Ascot and it came with a royal seal.”

Damian cannot remember the name of the horse he bet on but he remembers the amount he won:

“Enough for a weekly shop”.

Not bad, huh? 😀

The Duchess of Cornwall meets Damian and his family at Harvest Festival where Damian reads a NEW poem “Harvest” by Henry Birtles, a BBC and Channel 4 sport poet, written particularly for this event. Their conversation starts with their own harvest festival memories at school that we find out young Damian took baked beans to school for harvest, and then turns to extremely important world matters! 😀

source: dailymail.co.uk
source: dailymail.co.uk

“Where are you?” asks the Duchess. She is not asking after Damian, she is, in fact, asking after Brody! This conversation takes place before Homeland Season 3 arrives on TV and the Duchess is anxious, like the rest of us, about Brody’s whereabouts. And who can blame her for that?

“I’m on the run, but wait and see.”

source: salon.com

I find it quite hilarious that the Duchess asks Damian’s kids if they are allowed to watch their dad on TV, a question Damian himself answers with a laugh:

“No, certainly not. Fortunately mummy is in Harry Potter so they can watch that!”


The Royal Family does not only seem to give tips to Damian for horse-racing but they also seem to inspire him… well, for his roles 🙂

Telegraph reports that one “unusual” inspiration for Damian as he prepared for his role as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall was “the Duke of Cambridge, a known fan of his hit television programme Homeland, and Prince Harry, after observing how the pair approach their public duties. Damian says: “I have actually on occasion found myself thinking about Wills and Harry; wanting to normalize your life as much as possible.”

And Damian thinking about Wills and Harry obviously get me thinking about Damian hanging out with Wills and Harry 🙂 Well, one gets inspired by whom he hangs out with, doesn’t he?

Firstly, Damian had a chat with Wills, the Duke of Cambridge, when he was awarded his OBE in November 2014!

purchased from PAImages
purchased from PAImages

From the Press Association News Report:

“Speaking about his brief chat with the Duke, Damian revealed: “He said ‘Catherine and I are huge Homeland fans’.

“He said ‘you appeared again the other night briefly, and we all got very excited,’ which is true, but it was also on Sunday night which means he is absolutely up to date with the latest episode and I’m amazed they have time for that.”

Well, everyone makes time for Brody 🙂

Damian shares another sweet anecdote from his conversation with Prince William at New Yorker Festival.

Lauren Collins says she read somewhere once that the Queen, no matter what you say to her, she just says “Quite.” And Collins is curious to find out if that was true: “What did she say to you?”

Damian laughs and says: “I was, actually, given my honor by Prince William, which is very lovely. Prince William had been at the same school that I had been at. And I was wearing… ’cause you could go just in your school uniform… …so I bought a different tail coat in blue, and I just said “Your Highness…I’m wearing mine in blue, you know, I did not want to wear my school uniform… He’s quick as a flash… He just looked at me and said ‘you wouldn’t fit into that anymore, would you?’ That was all in Buckingham Palace just as he was pinning the medal on my chest.”

source: PA Images
Purchased from PA Images

Only a few weeks later, Damian Lewis got to hang out with Prince Harry at the ICAP Charity Day in which Damian participated to raise funds for Prostate UK.

ITV news reports the most hilarious chat between Damian Lewis and Prince Harry. You will love this!

Prince Harry, when he bumped into Lewis: “I see another ginger.” Lewis replied:

“What’s it like to be the second most famous redhead then?”

Spot the most famous redhead in the picture! 🙂

source: daily mail
Damian Lewis, Prince Harry and the Big Bird at ICAP Charity Day, source: Daily Mail

The most famous and the second most famous ginger of the world also got together at the Royal Ascot in 2015. We don’t know if they talked about the world’s latest “most famous ginger” rankings 😀

source: Getty Images
source: Getty Images

And it does not stop there! The second most famous ginger, at a recent appearance on The Late Late Show with  James Corden, shared with the world that he would like Damian Lewis to play him on The Crown! You can see the entire Harry segment below and the part about The Crown starts around 7:40.

Well, Damian being 14 years his senior, it is a pretty long shot, but it would be great casting.

In closing, having hung out with them all, who is Damian’s favorite royal?

Make a guess and FIND OUT here!

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

6 thoughts on “Damian Lewis Plays a Tudor King but Hangs out with the Windsors :D”

  1. Damian has we all known as already played Henry VIII in Wolf Hall I personally think a Film should be made of Damian Playing Henry VIII in my view he plays Henry so well and the best actor who has played the Tudor King also Damian would also make a excellent Henry V in a play or period Drama where he plays Shakespeares version of Henry V he also be fab or Edward I

    1. Hello! Thank you for your comment. Would you consider writing a few paragraphs about why you think Damian should play a king, maybe in a film about Henry VIII or about Henry V or Edward I? We’d love to publish it as part of our ‘dream role’ project!

  2. I don’t know where else to go with this comment, so settle for here. It won’t fit the heading but I am so annoyed I don’t care. Why in the name of all that’s holy, or not, did Tom Cruise wind up in the Queen’s jubilee celebration? Of course it is great that the “Ginger Prince” participated and was elegant, as always, but what about Hiddleston or Cumberbatch or one of the older gentleman who could well have taken part, someone who was a Brit. (Okay I don’t care for Cruise, never did.) As an American, if we were celebrating such a momentous event in this country, and Americans were snubbed to have some one NOT an American (by birth or naturalization) as shall I say, a headliner, I would be mightily pissed. Okay, now I feel better.

    1. I can’t agree with you more, Connie. It was a celebration of Queen’s 70 years of public service and it was about the UK not about Hollywood! It should have been a Brit actor – Anthony Hopkins, Colin Firth, Ian McKellen, or younger ones like Cumberbatch, Hiddlestone, Redmayne, etc. It’s so annoying Tom Cruise was there and not only just that he did not know what he was doing, either, in my opinion. My hunch is a royal family member likes him and wanted him to be part of the festivities 🙂 My husband says maybe the queen has a crush on Cruise 🙂 And I admit Tom Cruise is my least favorite actor ever. I never watch his films and, again, my husband always teases me that Damian will make a movie with him and I will have to watch it 🙂 I pray this is the last time I see them together in a show/film/event. Amen 😀

      1. I’m so very glad you agree with me! Perhaps it was just that some Brits are as enamored with Hollywood as some Americans seem to be with British royalty, both of which sentiments are fine, but this was just tasteless. Be well and thanks for keeping up this site, despite the lack of ginger on this side of the big pond.

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