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Helen Mirren on the Royal Family: 'They are, in a way, aliens'

The Queen actress reckons the Windsor family have a lifestyle that's "beyond our understanding"

Helen Nianias
Friday 13 February 2015 11:15 GMT
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Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan's The Audience
Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan's The Audience

Helen Mirren has described the Royal Family as "aliens".

The actress, who is reprising her role as Queen Elizabeth II in play The Audience on Broadway, has given her take on the royal lifestyle to the New York Times.

“The world they live in is so beyond our understanding,” she told the newspaper.

Mirren, who won an Oscar for her performance as the monarch in film The Queen, went on: “You’ve never queued for anything. Ever, for anything. Every time you go in the street, the traffic is stopped for you. It’s a world you can’t imagine. They are, in a way, aliens.

“But inside that, they are the same flawed, insecure, vulnerable, complicated human beings we are. It’s my job to get into the person who’s inside that world.”

Mirren, who was made a Dame in 2003, believes that the Queen's stern reputation stems from the fact doesn't smile much, but that it's a misconception.

“I think people misunderstand because she doesn’t smile all the time,” said. “But she’s not a movie star; she’s a queen. Smiling is not a requirement. What’s required is to be dignified. To be almost iconic, and self-controlled. Not to be charming. In the end, I prefer that to someone who smiles a lot and secretly has bulimia.”

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