March 14, 2021

Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth on the silver screen, has recorded an album with fellow actor Damian Lewis to mark the British monarch’s upcoming 95th birthday.

The Music of Kings & Queens  features music composed by Debbie Wiseman, with Mirren and Lewis narrating the story of Britain through 12 monarchs, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth, who ascended the throne in 1952.

The album will be released in June when the queen’s official birthday is celebrated. Her actual birthday is on April 21.

Mirren has portrayed Elizabeth on stage and screen, and won her Oscar for the 2006 film The Queen. Lewis played Tudor king Henry VIII in the television series Wolf Hall, for which Wiseman wrote the soundtrack.

Mirren, 75, said it was “a privilege” to record the album. Lewis, 50, added: “To take a glimpse into the hearts and minds of those kings and queens, through Debbie’s emotive music, was illuminating – and very enjoyable.”