Shudder. When you play a VIP’s grannie on TV and encounter said VIP IRL, things may get a smidge awkward. That’s just what happened when the Oscar-winning Olivia Colman ran into Prince William at a recent reception held at Buckingham Palace.
Colman, of course, is set to star as Queen Elizabeth II, William’s grandmother, in the upcoming season of Netflix’s The Crown.
"It didn't go very well. I met Prince William at a dinner, and he asked what I was doing at the moment before he quickly added, 'Actually, I know what you're doing,'" she recalls on The Graham Norton Show. "I was so excited and asked, 'Have you watched it?' His answer was a firm, 'No.' But he was very charming and very lovely."
William may not want to watch his family on-screen, but the Queen herself is reportedly a fan.
Colman isn’t the only family member to have an odd royal encounter. She revealed last month that her husband stole a “loo [toilet] roll” from the same reception, “just to say we got it from Buckingham Palace.”
Helen Mirren, meanwhile, is also opening up about a “lesson in embarrassment” during tea with the Queen. She discussed the experience during her “Helen Mirren and Hawk Koch Discuss The Magic of Movies” event.
“She invited me for tea,” Mirren, 74, began, adding that she was under the impression it would be a large gathering, but instead it was an intimate affair.
“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,” Mirren explained. “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.”
“So I walk in, and there’s like eight people sitting around a table. Prince Philip, the Queen, a Sheik of somewhere or other and a couple of horsey people. I know absolutely nothing about horses, at all, and the Queen knows everything about horses.”
When it came time to grab her tea, she said “my brain goes completely dead and I cannot remember how to address Prince Philip.”
“I mean, is it sir? Is it your majesty? Is it your highness?” Mirren said. “Is it rude to ask him to pass the milk? Or should I just ask for a lackey?”
Ultimately, she drank her tea black. “It’s a lesson in embarrassment, but they were lovely, they were utterly gracious.”
Mirren of course played the Queen in 2006’s The Queen. Her latest project, The Good Liar, bows November 15th.
The Crown season three premieres November 17th on Netflix.