The Queen is a 2006 British drama film directed by Stephen Frears, written by Peter Morgan, and starring Helen Mirren as the title role, HM Queen Elizabeth II. Released almost a decade after the event, the film depicts a fictional account of the immediate events following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997.
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The film begins after the 1997 British general election, where Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) becomes Britain's Labour prime minister. While sitting for an official portrait, the Queen (Helen Mirren) talks with the artist about her regret at not being allowed to vote. She is slightly wary of the new prime minister and his pledge to "modernise" the country, but Blair promises to respect the Royal Family. When Blair visits Buckingham Palace to kiss hands, the Queen follows custom and asks him to form a government in her name.
Three months later, Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash in the Alma Bridge tunnel in Paris along with her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul. Blair's director of communications, Alastair Campbell (Mark Bazeley), prepares a speech in which Diana is described as "the people's princess." Blair gives the speech the next day and the phrase catches on. Over the next few days, millions of people across London erupt in an outpouring of grief at Buckingham and Kensington Palaces. Meanwhile, the Royal Family are still at Balmoral Castle, their summer estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Diana's death sparks division among numerous members of the family. The Royal Family observes that, since Diana was divorced from her husband, Prince Charles (Alex Jennings) a year earlier, she is no longer a part of the family. They insists that Diana's funeral is a "private affair" and is best left to Diana's noble family, the Spencers. Charles argues that the mother of a future king cannot be dismissed so lightly, and the Queen allows the use of an aircraft of the British Royal Flight to bring Diana's body back to England.
In London, flowers pile up along the palace railings, forcing the changing of the Queen's guard to use another gate. British tabloids become inflammatory about the lack of a statement from the Royal Family. Charles leaves no doubt that he shares Blair's views about the need for a statement. As the Royal Family's ratings plummet, Blair's popularity rises, to the delight of his anti-monarchist advisers and wife
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