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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Actress Mirren's Queen unveiled
The actress was given the Queen's trademark hairstyle

The first pictures of Dame Helen Mirren playing Her Majesty The Queen have been released, ahead of a new film about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Mirren, 60, is pictured reading news of the death of Diana in the movie, which is called The Queen.

Directed by Stephen Frears, it is set in the week following the crash which killed Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed in August 1997.

Mirren will play royalty again soon, as Elizabeth I in a Channel 4 drama.

She's steady, true, honest and British
Dame Helen Mirren referring to the Queen

Director Frears, whose previous credits include My Beautiful Launderette and Dirty Pretty Things, said Mirren was first choice for the film role.

The Prime Suspect actress commented recently that she had done her own homework on The Queen for the role.

"She's not grumpy. I think she's a person who is genuine, she refuses to be fake. She's steady, true, honest and British."

Frears's film claims to recreate the events of that week from the point of view of the Royal Family and Prime Minister Tony Blair, with a script based on interviews with insiders and royal observers.

Veteran actress Sylvia Syms plays the Queen Mother, with James Cromwell as Prince Philip and Michael Sheen as Tony Blair.

No release date has yet been set for the film.

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