The Queen is a 2006 British-French drama film directed by Stephen Frears, written by Peter Morgan, and starring Helen Mirren as the title role, Queen Elizabeth II. Released almost a decade after the event, the film depicts a fictional account of the immediate events following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997. The main plot focuses on the differing views in how to deal with the death of Diana. The Royal Family, while on their summer residence at Balmoral Castle, sees her death as a private affair, not to be treated as an official Royal death, in contrast with newly-appointed Prime Minister Tony Blair and Diana's ex-husband Prince Charles, who attempt to reflect the public wish for an official expression of grief. Matters are further complicated by the media, royal protocol regarding Diana's official status, and wider issues about republicanism. The views of Diana's sons throughout the film are only portrayed through other characters. The film's release coincided with a revival of favourable public sentiment with respect to the monarchy and a downturn in fortunes for Blair, whose resignation came less than a year after the film's premiere. Actor Michael Sheen reprised his role as Blair from the Channel 4 television film The Deal, and did so again in The Special Relationship. The film has also earned critical and popular acclaim for Mirren, and some controversy as she had previously refused appointment into the Order of the British Empire in 1996, only to accept the offer in 2003. Mirren praised the Queen in her Academy Awards acceptance speech and was invited to dinner at Buckingham Palace on 10 May 2007, but declined to attend due to filming commitments in the United States.