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Case of art imitating life as dame plays Queen

By PA Reporter

Kristin Scott Thomas, the doyenne of on-screen haughtiness, could be playing the Queen on stage when she visits Buckingham Palace to collect her gong.

Scott Thomas, who appeared in Four Weddings And A Funeral and The English Patient, is made a dame.

Dame Kristin is due to follow Dame Helen Mirren in the role of the monarch in an updated version of the play, The Audience, due to open in April and based on the Queen's weekly meetings with Prime Ministers over the six decades of her reign.

The 54-year-old said she "could not believe" her inclusion on the list, adding: "In fact, I thought someone was playing a trick."

Scott Thomas (54) joins broadcaster Esther Rantzen, fellow actor Joan Collins, the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and the designer Mary Quant in being made a dame.

Other prominent figures honoured this year are actors John Hurt and Emily Watson, comedian Meera Syal and novelist Ali Smith. As expected, Collins is made a dame for services to charity. The 81-year-old said she was "deeply honoured".

Hurt (74) is knighted after a career lasting more than 50 years taking in roles in The Elephant Man, Doctor Who and Harry Potter, as well as a famous scene in Alien in which an extraterrestrial bursts from his stomach.

It was disclosed that a small proportion of those selected - fewer than 2% and typically around 20 - turned down an honour.

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