Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Palace date for Queen and double

The Queen meets Dame Helen Mirren at a Palace event celebrating Britain's young talent

The Queen came face-to-face with her screen double - actress Dame Helen Mirren - when the ballroom at Buckingham Palace was the venue for a special production of Romeo and Juliet.

Dame Helen, who played the monarch in her 2006 film The Queen, was one of a number of celebrity guests at the showcase to celebrate some of the country's most promising young talent.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh also met special guest singer Ellie Goulding, songwriter Duffy and comedian Michael McIntyre in the palace's White Room.

The 30-minute show opened with Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, performed by the Docklands Sinfonia to the Ballroom's 450 guests. The English National Ballet then followed with a piece to Prokofiev's The Dance of the Knights.

Former X Factor winner Joe McElderry then wowed guests with Something's Coming from West Side Story, flanked by street dancers from the National Youth Music Theatre.

Tchaikovksy was heard as never before, with DJ Ironik rapping Romeo's Dream alongside singer Sara-Jane Skeete.

Tamsin Egerton, star of film St Trinians, and Skins actor and writer Daniel Kaluuya were cast as the star-crossed lovers, and said they were honoured to be part of the performance, which they say was put together in just 10 days.

Goldie, who teamed up with Prince Harry for a gig at Buckingham Palace last month for his BBC show Goldie's Band: By Royal Appointment, said the evening was a "perfect showcase" of the country's talent.

"Music and drama can be such an important part of young people's lives, so to have the seal of approval from the Queen herself, and know she is behind them, is a real boost."

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