Three cheers for the indomitable DAME HELEN, from her raunchy jokes about Colin Firth to her dislike of leery, pervy Alfred Hitchcock when she was a young whippersnapper on his casting couch. To paraphrase the great Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, she is quite simply boss as fuck.

In a new interview with Woman & Home, Mirren discussed being a "grumpy anti-monarchist" when she was younger: "It's the sense of privilege that goes with the aristocracy that I struggle with. I can't help my working class roots and on that score, the fact that the aristocracy haven't got there through hard work is a structure that is annoying to me. But the monarchy on its own, I'm okay with that." But she loves the Windsor clan now: "My hope for the future is to see Charles become king one day. I would like to see him come to the throne in my lifetime. He will make a very good monarch. If you have a good and sensible person in that role, It's a good thing."

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More interestingly, she discussed what makes companionship last for a lifetime:

"People get together for reasons other than sex and, although it's important in the beginning for most couples, it's not what makes marriages last. But I think the power of partnership in marriage is under-recognised in our society. That's what makes marriages work, not sex."

And her pragmatic, no-frills, no heart-shaped-boxes-of-mediocre-Duane-Reade-chocolates marriage to director Taylor Hackford.

Taylor and I aren't remotely romantic with each other. And actually we appreciate the lack of romance in the other person. I'd be completely horrified if Taylor gave me a Valentine's card. That's not our sort of relationship at all – we would pour cold water on that sort of thing. We even forget to get each other birthday presents – I'm always thinking the day before, 'Oh, I must get Taylor something for his birthday.' Without being corny, we try simply to be considerate to each other every day rather than lavishing each other with gifts.

I bet they have sex constantly, though. Constantly.

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'It's not the sex that makes marriage last, says Dame Helen Mirren' [Telegraph UK]