Belfast Telegraph

Mirren and Queen come face to face

Dame Helen Mirren has come face to face with her screen alter ego the Queen at a Buckingham Palace celebration of the UK's dramatic arts.

The actress played her in The Queen in 2006 and on Sunday won a Bafta Fellowship for her career's achievements, which she collected on stage at the awards ceremony from Prince William.

When Lenny Henry was introduced to the Queen at the Buckingham Palace event, he joked to other guests: "This is Helen Mirren - she's brilliant."

Dame Helen later gave a reading from Shakespeare's The Tempest for guests and her Royal hosts.

Stars including Steve McQueen, director of the Bafta-winning 12 Years A Slave, John Hurt, Sir Roger Moore, Joan Collins, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen and Ralph Fiennes met the Queen and Kate Middleton at the event.

Joining them were Mike Leigh, Jane Horrocks, Angela Lansbury, Helena Bonham Carter, Sir Michael Gambon and Harry Hill.

Film-maker Lord Puttnam, producer Harvey Weinstein and playwrights and screen writers Sir Tom Stoppard, Alan Bennett, Michael Frayn and Sir Ronald Harwood were also among those invited, as well as those who work behind the scenes in film and theatre.

The night was hosted by the Queen in her capacity as patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada).

It included a performance in the palace's ballroom with songs from the musical Oh! What A Lovely War performed by Rada students, introduced by Hugh Laurie.

Recent graduate Jessie Buckley and former Rada student Trevor Eve acted a scene from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, Cynthia Erivo, who is about to star in I Can't Sing - The X Factor Musical performed a song, and Sir Tom Courtenay delivered a speech from Sir Ronald Harwood's play The Dresser.

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