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Helen takes in the atmosphere inside the Kodak theatre where she nearly lost one of her Chopard diamond earrings as she went up to collect her statuette
Photo: © Getty Images
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Penelope's crisis happened before the ceremony, when the zip broke on her Dior gown. Fortunately, she had this blush-hued Versace number on stand-by
Photo: © Getty Images

Diamond drama and hamburger heaven on Helen's big night

27 FEBRUARY 2007

She was crowned Queen of the Oscars but Dame Helen Mirren chose to celebrate her glittering triumph with a good old cheeseburger rather than a royal banquet. The down-to-earth actress tucked into the burger at the Vanity Fair after-show party - but it turns out the £30 morsel was in fact fit for a star, as it was created by US celebrity chef Wolfang Puck and made from ultra-expensive Kobe beef.

Helen confessed she felt like royalty on the night in her specially made Christian Lacroix gown, thanking the couturier for "making an Essex girl feel like a Queen". She accessorised with Chopard jewels, including a 55 carat diamond bracelet and a whopping 62 carat oval brooch which had been stitched onto the back of her gown.

And, amazingly, she kept her cool during her acceptance speech despite losing one of the multi-carat diamond cluster earrings on the way up to the podium. "I've got my purse in one hand and my earring in the other," she joked.

She went on to refer to the monarch she so masterfully portrays in The Queen. "For 50 years and more, Elizabeth Windsor has maintained her dignity, sense of duty and hairstyle," she told the 3,000-strong crowd at the Kodak Theatre. "And I thank her, because if it wasn't for her, I most certainly would not be here. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Queen." And it has been confirmed that the actress will be able to thank the monarch in person in the near future. "We have been invited to meet her. The Queen's private secretary has invited us for lunch," said the film's director Stephen Frears.

Helen's earring drama wasn't the only one of the evening, Penelope Cruz suffered her own crisis - a wardrobe malfunction. The Spanish star fortunately had a back up plan when the zip broke on the John Galliano for Dior gown she had planned to wear. Her second choice - a fabulous feathered number by Atelier Versace - still had her topping the best-dressed polls, however.

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