Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Queen Helen takes matters into her own hands

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LONDON -- Silence for the queen, please.

A troupe of street drummers got a shock when Helen Mirren, dressed as Queen Elizabeth II, emerged from a London theatre to berate them for disrupting her show.

Mirren is starring in The Audience, a drama about the weekly meetings between the queen and Britain's prime ministers over her 60-year reign.

Mirren told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that she used less-than-royal language in the rant during the intermission of Saturday's performance.

"I'm afraid there were a few 'thespian' words used," Mirren was quoted as saying Monday. "They got a very stern royal ticking off but I have to say they were very sweet and they stopped immediately.

"I felt rotten but on the other hand they were destroying our performance so something had to be done."

The drummers were marching through London's West End to promote As One in the Park, a gay music festival being held later this month.

"Not much shocks you on the gay scene," parade organizer Mark McKenzie told the Telegraph. "But seeing Helen Mirren dressed as the queen cussing and swearing and making you stop your parade -- that's a new one."

Festival spokesman Mark Williams said organizers "are terribly upset if we caused her any distress. If she'd like to let her hair down and attend the festival she'd be more than welcome."

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 7, 2013 C2

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