By Melissa Romualdi.

Before Helen Mirren portrayed Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film “The Queen”, the actress reached out to the monarch.

Mirren, 76, told Radio Times during her cover interview that she wrote the Queen a letter after realizing she’d be portraying a “profoundly painful part” of Her Majesty’s life in the film, which centred on the Queen’s handling of Princess Diana’s death.

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“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,’” Mirren recalled writing. “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.”

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“She didn’t write back, of course, but her secretary did,” Mirren continued. “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 film portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II won her her first Oscar.


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Ellen Bullock