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Playing a Queen Different From Being One

Or being DVD repairman.


Just because you play a queen of England—in Cate Blanchett’s case, twice—doesn’t mean the queen of England has been following your career. The current Queen Elizabeth paid a royal visit backstage at a West End play featuring the Australian actress—“I don’t think she’d realized I’d played her ancestor”—and, a few years later, they met at a Buckingham Palace luncheon. “We talked mostly about Australia, actually. We didn’t talk about Elizabeth,” the 1998 movie in which Blanchett played the queen for the first time. (The follow-up, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, is out this Friday; Blanchett was in town last week promoting it.) Prince Philip seemed similarly clueless. “He wanted me to fix his DVD player,” Blanchett said. “He found out I was an actress, and he thought that maybe I could tell him which cord went into which hole. I said, ‘You know, I didn’t learn that in drama school.’ ”

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