LONDON - A spokeswoman for Queen Elizabeth II has publicly dismissed as "fiction" Helen Mirren's performance of the longtime British monarch in The Queen, but insiders reveal that the real-life Elizabeth regularly studies a bootleg copy of the flick frame-by-frame, and that she has taken to imitating Mirren's portrayal of her down to the most minute detail -- Mirren's gestures, her walk, her expressions. The Queen even recites verbatim long-stretches of dialogue from the film even though it has no application to the conversation, much to the chagrin of confused palace insiders.
Last week when the Queen was involved a disagreement with her husband, Prince Phillip, she looked at him icily and said, "Exactly what are your credentials aside from playing the farmer in Babe?" an apparent reference to Mirren's co-star in The Queen, actor James Cromwell who portrayed Phillip.
The tension created by the Queen's behavior reportedly came to a head last weekend when Prince Charles confronted the Queen and asked why she feels the need to imitate Helen Mirren's portrayal. "I don’t need to imitate her imitating me," the Queen snapped. But then she conceded: "Of course, if I forget how it goes, I can watch the movie and imitate her imitating me, which is what I do. Yes, if you must know, I live vicariously through her being me."