Why Helen Mirren wrote the Queen a warning about her royal role

“She didn’t write back, of course, but her secretary did. You know, ‘Yours sincerely, da di da di da,’ on behalf of the Queen. I was very relieved subsequently that I had written that letter.”

Dame Helen’s disclosure was reported in a Radio Times piece written by Lord Bragg, who interviewed her for an episode of the South Bank Show.

She won an Oscar for The Queen in 2007, dedicating the award to the Queen in her acceptance speech.

‘Terrible’ clothes

However, she told Lord Bragg that she burst into tears at the prospect of wearing costumes based on the monarch’s “terrible” clothes.

“I believed, I really did, when I first saw them. Not so much, ‘do I have to wear them?’ but, ‘do I have to play someone who would wear clothes like this?’

“But they were so beautifully made. And they showed the Queen had no vanity at all. She is happiest grabbing a shirt, pulling on another terrible cardigan, a tweedy skirt, comfortable shoes and a rain mac and ella she’s off, ”the actress said.

Dame Helen has previously said that she believed the film had been “seen and appreciated” by the Queen. The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex had also watched it and were “cool” with it.

The 76-year-old actress has also spoken in the past about being invited to tea with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

She told a Hollywood seminar in 2019 that the tea party had comprised “Prince Philip, the Queen, a Sheikh of somewhere or other and a couple of horsey people”.

In a “lesson in embarrassment”, she wanted to ask the Duke of Edinburgh to pass the milk jug, but forgot how she had been told to address him.

“I mean, is it ‘Sir’? Is it ‘Your Majesty’? Is it ‘Your Highness?’” Mirren said. “Is it rude to ask him to pass the milk? Or should I just ask for a lackey?

“I finished up not having any milk. I couldn’t sort it out. It’s a lesson in embarrassment but they were lovely, they were utterly gracious.”


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