Helen Mirren Reveals the Awkward Tea Experience She Had With Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
She may be known for once playing the head monarch on the big screen, but Helen Mirren was left feeling clueless when she found herself having some tea with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
“[The Queen] invited me for tea,” the actress, 74, revealed during her Helen Mirren and Hawk Koch Discuss The Magic of Movies event on Friday, November, 8. “I thought it was going to be in a room with 200 other people, which it often is. I’ve met her once before and it was in a room with 200 other people. So I said, ‘Oh well I can manage that.’ So it was at the horsey place and the message came to me that the Queen would like to invite you to tea, she knows you’re here.”
However, things didn’t go as the Oscar winner expected, especially when it came to another guest at the table: the Queen’s husband. “I got a cup of tea and the Queen, in particular, was having a very intense conversation about what’s in the sandwiches with Prince Philip, very important. ‘What is this? What’s in here?’” Helen explained.
“The milk is on the other side of Prince Philip and I want some milk in my tea, but my brain goes completely dead and I cannot remember how to address Prince Philip,” The Good Liar star continued. “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?”
“I finished up not having any milk. I just couldn’t sort it out,” Helen said. Although, even though the experience may have had its ups and downs, the A-lister says that she actually learned something.
“It’s a lesson in embarrassment, but they were lovely, they were utterly gracious,” Helen said.
Helen portrayed the Queen in the 2006 film, racking up accolades left and right. In fact, she once revealed that a couple of notable royals have brought up the role to her. “[Prince] Harry and [Prince] William have mentioned it to me and they have been very funny and very cool about it,” she once said while on daytime news show Good Morning Britain.
“I think Harry once at an awards ceremony said, ‘And granny is here’ and I was rather insulted by that,” Helen recalled. “I mean, really!” Whoops!