Helen Mirren is expressing her condolences after Queen Elizabeth II’s death at 96. On Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen “died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.” As reported by People, in a message on Instagram, Mirren called the late monarch the “epitome of nobility. I am proud to be an Elizabethan. We mourn a woman, who, with or without the crown, was the epitome of nobility,” wrote Mirren. At the “Helen Mirren and Hawk Koch Discuss the Magic of Movies” event back in 2019, the actress opened up about a “lesson in embarrassment” she was taught during tea with Queen Elizabeth. “She invited me for tea,” Mirren began. “I thought it was going to be in a room with 200 other people, which it often is. I’ve met her once before and it was in a room with 200 other people. So I said, ‘Oh, well, I can manage that.’ So it was at the horsey place and the message came to me that the Queen would like to invite you to tea, she knows you’re here.” “So I walk in, and there’s like eight people sitting around a table. Prince Philip, the Queen, a Sheik of somewhere or other and a couple of horsey people. I know absolutely nothing about horses, at all, and the Queen knows everything about horses,” continued Mirren, adding that she was “desperately trying to make polite conversation and it’s just coming out like gobbledygook.” She added of the meeting that “they were lovely, they were utterly gracious.” Mirren was appointed a dame by Queen Elizabeth back in 2003.