There was no over-emotional sobbing from this year’s best actress at the Oscars – instead in her acceptance speech Dame Helen Mirren paid tribute to the Queen.

“For 50 years and more, Elizabeth Windsor has maintained her dignity, her sense of duty – and her hairstyle,” she said.

“She has had her feet planted firmly on the ground, her hat on her head and her handbag on her arm. She has weathered many, many storms. And I salute her courage and her consistency and I thank her because if it wasn’t for her I most certainly would not be here.”

She ended her speech by holding up the Oscar statuette and saying: “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Queen.”

The British star described her win as a ‘huge honour’ and also paid tribute to her fellow nominees – Dame Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz and Meryl Streep.
“I share my gold star with them. They are brilliant, brilliant actresses who have amazing performances this year,” she said.

Backstage, she said she felt it was a great year for Britain. “I don’t think I’m our only big winner. I think we won big time this year, the British talent. What is incredibly important and I think generous of the Academy and the American people is recognising us.”

But she said she wasn’t expecting a phone call from the Queen following her win.
“I’m not expecting a call from her Majesty, not ever!” she laughed.

“I think it’s wonderful that I live in a country that allows us to make a film like this.”