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Dame Helen Mirren on getting 'queen-itis' in front of The Queen

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Dame Helen Mirren has admitted that she gets "queen-itis" when she finds herself in the presence of the Queen. The legendary actress, who played the royal in 2006's film The Queen, was speaking to funnyman Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. "When you meet the Queen, almost everyone gets it," said Helen. "You get this thing I call 'queen-itis,' which is like a terrible virus that suddenly hits you the minute you're in front of the Queen. You start saying weird things like, 'Oh, it's terribly good fun, wasn't it?' and 'Frightfully nice to meet you, ma'am.' This weird voice comes out. She's so used to it."


Dame Helen Mirren © Photo: Getty Images

Dame Helen Mirren: 'You start saying weird things when you meet the Queen'

Helen, 69, added: "You get sort of paralysed and you can't remember what the hell you said. It's very weird." The Academy Award-winning star also indulged the American chat show host by taking part in his skit called Mirren, Mirren. Helen had the audience in fits of laughter as she answered Jimmy's random questions, ranging from what her favourite film was to what she usually ordered at Subway. "My motto in life is you can never go wrong, by treating yourself to a nice footlong," replied Helen to the latter, as she dressed in a regal costume.

helen mirren2 © Photo: Getty Images

Dame Helen Mirren meets the Queen in February

Helen, who most recently met the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, at Buckingham Palace last February, insisted at the time that her royal roles – both on stage and on screen – don't come up in conversation. "I am genuinely always astounded by her aura, her twinkle, her presence," said Helen of the 88-year-old reigning monarch. "It never fails to surprise me, and again it's what everyone says when they meet her — it was what overwhelmed me the first time I met her." "You're thinking 'it's the Queen, it's the Queen'," she added, and asked whether she still got star-struck replied, "Of course, even more so I think because I feel self-conscious, you know."

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