'Proud to be an Elizabethan': Helen Mirren pays heartfelt tribute to Queen Elizabeth II upon her death at 96

'I am proud to be an Elizabethan. We mourn a woman, who, with or without the crown, was the epitome of nobility,' Mirren wrote

'Proud to be an Elizabethan': Helen Mirren pays heartfelt tribute to Queen Elizabeth II upon her death at 96
Helen Mirren, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film 'The Queen', expressed her sorrow over the monarch's passing (Joe Maher and Jane Barlow//Getty Images)
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Helen Mirren, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film 'The Queen', paid tribute to the monarch after she passed away at 96. The Queen "died peacefully this afternoon at Balmoral." The queen's death comes a year after the death of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died at age 99 in April 2021, according to a statement released by Buckingham Palace on Thursday, September 8, 2022.

The 'Prime Suspect' actress, who won an Oscar for her work in the film 'The Queen', described the late Queen as the "epitome of nobility" on her Instagram. Mirren, 77, later played the part again for the Broadway production of 'The Audience' in 2015. The actress was given the honorary title of Dame in 2003 by the renowned Royal Shakespeare Company in England, where she acquired her training.

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Helen Mirren playing the role of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 film 'The Queen.' (Credits: Screenshot/The Queen)
Helen Mirren portraying the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film 'The Queen' (Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers/YouTube)

"I am proud to be an Elizabethan. We mourn a woman, who, with or without the crown, was the epitome of nobility," Mirren wrote. Peter Morgan, who later went on to create Netflix's 'The Crown', wrote the book 'The Queen', which chronicled Princess Diana's sad death and the Queen's response to it.

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In her speech at the time of her acceptance for the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal, Mirren said, "Now, you know, for 50 years and more, Elizabeth Windsor has maintained her dignity, her sense of duty, and her hairstyle."

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"She's had her feet planted firmly on the ground, her hat on her head, her handbag on her arm and she's weathered many, many storms," Mirren added. "I salute her courage and her consistency. And I thank her, because if it wasn't for her I most, most certainly would not be here."

Queen Elizabeth II watches Dame Helen Mirren delivering a speech from Shakespeare's The Tempest during the Dramatic Arts reception in the Ballroom of the Buckingham Palace on February 17, 2014 in London, England.
Queen Elizabeth II watches Dame Helen Mirren delivering a speech from Shakespeare's The Tempest in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace on February 17, 2014, in London, England (Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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The actress previously disclosed that she wrote to Queen Elizabeth in advance to warn her that she would be portraying her during a "profoundly painful" point in her life. "I realized that we were investigating a profoundly painful part of her life, so I wrote to her," Mirren told Radio Times.

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"How do you write to your queen? Was it, 'Madam' or 'Your Highness' or 'Your Majesty'? I said, 'We are doing this film. We are investigating a very difficult time in your life. I hope it's not too awful for you,'" Mirren said. "I can't remember how I put it. I just said that in my research I found myself with a growing respect for her, and I just wanted to say that."

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Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled for 70 years and was the longest-serving British monarch in history, passed away on Thursday, September 8, 2022, at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth II meets with Dame Helen Mirren (R) at a performing Arts reception at Buckingham Palace on May 9, 2011 in London, England.
Queen Elizabeth II meets Dame Helen Mirren (R) at a performing Arts reception at Buckingham Palace on May 9, 2011, in London, England (Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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