Back in 2007, actress Helen Mirren took home an Academy Award for her portrayal of the British Monarch in Stephen Frears’ “The Queen” (via Marie Claire). Since then, Mirren has been invited to and attended a string of Buckingham Palace receptions.
However, speaking back in 2018, the British actress recalled a particularly embarrassing moment she had previously shared with Queen Elizabeth II, one that involved improper royal etiquette.
As People reported, Mirren revealed that she was taught a “lesson in embarrassment” during a meeting with her majesty the Queen after being invited over by the royal family for tea. “I walk in, and there’s like eight people sitting around a table. Prince Philip, the Queen, a Sheik of somewhere or other and a couple of horsey people. I know absolutely nothing about horses, at all, and the Queen knows everything about horses,” the Oscar-winner explained, adding that during the tea, she wound up “desperately trying to make polite conversation.”
After finally being served a cup of tea, Mirren noticed that the milk had been placed across the table next to Prince Philip — and that’s when things got a tad uncomfortable.
Helen Mirren has discussed her portrayal of the Queen with senior royals
As it turns out, Mirren had completely forgotten the proper way in which to address the Duke of Edinburgh (via Closer). “I mean, is it sir? Is it your majesty? Is it your highness? Is it rude to ask him to pass the milk? Or should I just ask for a lackey?” the actress recalled.
To avoid any further embarrassment, the “Prime Suspect” star decided to finish the tea without any milk at all. “I finished up not having any milk. I just couldn’t sort it out,” she revealed. “It’s a lesson in embarrassment, but they were lovely, they were utterly gracious.”
During an appearance on “Good Morning Britain” back in 2019, Mirren was asked whether or not Prince Charles had ever mentioned her on-screen portrayal of his mother, to which the actress replied, “No that’s never mentioned … he’s too tactful.” However, as The Sun reported, Mirren went on to disclose that Prince Harry and William have indeed brought up the 2006 film to her in the past.
“Harry and William, have mentioned it to me [about playing the Queen] and they have been very funny and very cool about it.” Speaking on Good Morning Britain, she added, “I think Harry once at an awards ceremony said, ‘And granny is here’ and I was rather insulted by that. I mean, really!” Mirren joked.
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