Dame Helen Mirren's husband ''can't believe'' she is portraying Queen Elizabeth again.

The Oscar-winning actress appears as the British monarch in forthcoming London stage show 'The Audience' and director Taylor Hackford is stunned she is taking on another regal role following her 2006 portrayal of the same royal in 'The Queen', the titular monarch in 2005 TV drama 'Elizabeth I', and Queen Charlotte in 'The Madness of King George'.

Taylor told the New York Post newspaper: ''Can you believe it? I can't believe it. She's again playing the queen!

''It's on stage. A play called 'The Audience,' which opens at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End.

''Peter Morgan, who wrote that film for which she won the Oscar, wrote it. Three-time Academy Award nominee Stephen Daldry is directing. It's about the queen's private once weekly meetings with her 12 prime ministers over 60 years.''

Helen, 67, has previously admitted she thinks the role will be tough as she has to portray the royal from when she took the throne aged 25 right up until the modern day.

She said: ''That'll be a challenge.''

However, the actress has given the role some thought and thinks the monarch's ''unbelievable consistency in everything'' she has done will help with the transition, and she is also studying the changes in her speech patterns.

She explained: ''Her voice has changed and I can use that - she had a terribly posh voice when she was young.

''But now even the queen, while she isn't quite dropping the ends of her lines - though her grandsons do - there's a tiny bit of estuary creeping in there.

''I can use all that to signify the age range and we'll come up with other things.''