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Dame Helen to take tea with the Queen

8 February 2007
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Buckingham Palace has never seen the likes of it before - Queen Elizabeth taking tea with… Queen Elizabeth. The occasion won't be a case of double vision for courtiers, however, as Dame Helen Mirren, who so perfectly captured the British monarch in the film The Queen, is to be invited to share a royal cuppa.

Helen, Queen director Stephen Frears and screenwriter Peter Morgan are, according to the Daily Mail, all due to receive the regal invitation after the Academy Awards on February 25, when the actress is expected to pick up the best actress Oscar. Originally the invitation was to be issued only if the film won, but now it seems the monarch will meet them either way.

Apparently the Queen has not yet seen the movie, which focuses on events following the death of Princess Diana in 1997, but she will have been aware of Helen's public praise for her. At the Golden Globes the actress even dedicated her gong to the royal matriarch. "I honestly think this award belongs to her, because I think you fell in love with her not me," she said.

The Palace invitation won't be the first time the 61-year-old screen star has met the head of the royal family, though. "I met the Queen very briefly, for about 20 seconds, at a polo match," reveals Helen. "I was invited to have tea with the Queen, with about a thousand other people, and I and Chloe Sevigney were taken over to meet her... She is absolutely charming and very twinkly and very easy and very natural. "

Despite the fact she was brought up a staunch anti-royalist, Helen admits making the film changed the way she views the Establishment. "I fell in love with her and never thought that would happen," she says.

Thursday night proved another triumphant moment for the Golden Globe winner, who received yet another best British actress title at the London Film Critics' Circle awards. Also honoured at the gala was Canada-based British actress Emily Blunt, 23, who won a best supporting role gong for The Devil Wears Prada. Meanwhile, Emma Thompson, resplendent in a show-stopping low-cut pink dress despite the icy London weather, picked up Meryl Streep's actress of the year trophy.

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Photo: ©
Helen, who picked up another gong for her acclaimed portrayal of the Queen at the London Critics' Circle awards on Thursday, could be enjoying tea with the lady herself in the near futurePhoto: © EMPICS
Photo: ©
A glamorous Emma made a dazzling appearance at the ceremony which was held at London's Dorchester hotelPhoto: © Getty Images

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