TV & Movies
Helen Mirren Wrote A Letter To The Queen & Got A Response
The actor admitted she wasn’t sure whether to call the Queen “Madam” or “Your Highness”.
Helen Mirren, who played Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, has just revealed that she wrote to Her Majesty during the making of the 2006 film. In a recent Radio Times interview, Mirren shared that she sent a letter to the monarch after realising that the film dealt with very a sensitive time in Her Majesty’s life.
Mirren admitted that, at first, she was unsure of how to address the Queen. She told the publication “[I asked myself] how do you write to your queen? Was it Madam, or Your Highness, or Your Majesty?” Giving Radio Times a summary of the contents of the letter, Mirren explained: “I said: ‘We are doing this film. We are investigating a very difficult time in your life. I hope it’s not too awful for you’.”
The 2006 film follows Queen Elizabeth II as she navigates events following the tragic death of Princess Diana. The Royal Family received criticism over its handling of Diana’s death and was forced to release a statement denying suggestions that it was “indifferent” to the tragedy, as CNN reports. In the film, Tony Blair (played by Michael Sheen) persuades the Queen to acknowledge the public’s grief and allow a public funeral for Diana.
Mirren said that she was motivated to write to the queen after researching her life. The 76-year-old said of the letter: “I can’t remember how I put it. I just said that in my research I found myself with a growing respect for her, and I just wanted to say that.’’ As to whether she received a response from The Queen, Mirren said: “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.”
Mirren’s portrayal earned her critical acclaim and an Oscar, but what did the Queen make of it? Well, it appears she approved as she invited Mirren to dinner at Buckingham Palace not long after the film’s release.
It’s not the last time the Queen has watched Mirren portray a royal. Her Majesty recently attended the final night of the Royal Windsor Horse Show during the Platinum Jubilee, in which Mirren made a cameo as Queen Elizabeth I. Mirren also starred as another legendary queen in the 2019 HBO miniseries, Catherine the Great. There’s no word on what the Queen made of that performance, though.