Actress Samantha Bond has signed up to play the Queen in a new royal docudrama.

Samantha, who starred as Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond film Die Another Day with Pierce Brosnan, is one of five actresses who will play the Queen at different ages.

Production has already started on the series of five hour-long programmes – commissioned by Channel 4 – which focus on different years in the monarch’s reign.

Fictitious scenes from within the palace will be mixed with real-life accounts from royal insiders and archive footage.

The first episode will be set in 1955, when Princess Margaret had to decide whether to marry divorcee Group Captain Peter Townsend, and the second in 1974 which saw a kidnap attempt on Princess Anne.

The third features tension between the monarchy and Government over South Africa in 1986, while the fourth centres on 1992 – the Queen’s annus horribilis.

Finally, the last programme tells the story of the 2005 marriage of Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

Each episode aims to show wider social changes in the past 50 years.

The Queen’s former press secretary, Penny Russell-Smith, who worked in the Buckingham Palace Press office from 1993 to 2007, is series consultant.

Get exclusive access to your favourite stars. Subscribe to TV Times magazine