A lookalike is hanging up her crown after a royal reign of 42 years as a Queen impersonator.

When Jeanette Charles commissioned an artist to paint a portrait of her for her late husband Kenneth as a birthday present in 1972, little did she know that soon she would be flying around the world as a professional lookalike for the Queen.

Mrs Charles’ high-flying career took off when the artist wrote in her local newspaper column that she was “so like the Queen it was unbelievable,” and over the years she has appeared in countless television programmes, advertising campaigns and films, including the Austin Powers film Goldmember and The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! with Leslie Nielsen and Priscilla Presley.

Mrs Charles, who is now retiring as a lookalike, said: "It has brought me a great deal of happiness because the royalty are so well thought of all over the world.”

See this week's Maldon and Burnham Standard for the full story