Helen Mirren Explains Why She Thinks Meghan Markle Is a ‘Fantastic Addition to the Royal Family’

After stepping down from royal duties with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has another A-lister on her side: Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar in 2007 for portraying Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.

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“Meghan Markle was a fantastic addition to the royal family — charming, did everything right, was gracious, was sweet-natured, and seemed to be … Wow! What a lovely addition,” the dame, 74, told Variety on Thursday, February 27.

Mirren called the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell decision “a loss” for the royals, but she commended the couple for doing what they believe is in their best interest.

“I think their instincts are absolutely right, and I applaud them for it. Hugely actually,” she said. “Of course, it is complicated.”

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Helen Mirren and Meghan Markle RONALD WITTEK/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock; Shutterstock

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The actress has been intrigued by the royal family since playing Elizabeth, 93, in The Queen and Broadway’s The Audience. She even called herself a “queenist” — “not monarchist” — in a 2015 interview.

“The world [that the royals] live in is so beyond our understanding,” she told The New York Times at the time. “You’ve never queued for anything. Ever, for anything. Every time you go in the street, the traffic is stopped for you. It’s a world you can’t imagine. They are, in a way, aliens. But inside that, they are the same flawed, insecure, vulnerable, complicated human beings we are.”

Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, made waves in January when they announced that they were stepping back as senior members of the royal family and working to become financially independent. They told their Instagram followers at the time, “We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son [Archie, 9 months] with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”

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Days later, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the couple will no longer use their His and Her Royal Highness titles.

Harry and Meghan have continued to stay busy since moving to Canada, making low-key appearances in Miami and California earlier this month. The queen, meanwhile, has had a tougher time with the transition.

“She’s exhausted, both physically and emotionally,” a source reveals exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly. “She’s approaching her 94th birthday in April and should be at a stage in her life where she can ease up and be supported by her loved ones. The drama’s never-ending. She’s so frustrated.”

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