The Queen welcomes A-list actors at palace celebration

Stars arrive to meet the Queen

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The Queen has welcomed Hollywood stars and film-makers including Steve McQueen and Dame Helen Mirren to a celebration of UK drama at Buckingham Palace.

Her Majesty, who is patron of the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada), was accompanied by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Sir Roger Moore and Dame Angela Lansbury were also among the guests.

Current Rada students joined actors including Dame Helen for a performance in the Palace Ballroom.

The actress performed a speech from Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Also on the guest list were Joan Collins, Michael Sheen, John Hurt, Alan Rickman, Sir Tom Stoppard, Alan Bennett, Ralph Fiennes, Sir Michael Gambon, Jane Horrocks, Helena Bonham Carter, Harry Hill and Lenny Henry.

Trevor Nunn, the Duchess of Cambridge and Helena Bonham Carter The Duchess of Cambridge met many of the guests

Dame Helen, best known for portraying the Queen both on screen and on stage, said: "I am genuinely always astounded by her aura, her twinkle, her presence.

"It never fails to surprise me and again it's what everyone says when they meet her - it was what overwhelmed me the first time I met her."

Dame Helen was presented with an honorary fellowship award by the Duke of Cambridge at the Baftas on Sunday and Prince William joked about the actress playing his grandmother.

Speaking about her conversation with the Duchess, Dame Helen said: "She said 'my husband called you granny last night' and I said 'yes that was so sweet'."

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