Judi Dench to play Queen Victoria again

Judi Dench to play Queen Victoria again

Dame Judi Dench is to play Queen Victoria for a second time in 'Victoria & Abdul'.

The 81-year-old actress will take on the role of the monarch - who she first portrayed in 1997 movie 'Mrs Brown opposite Billy Connolly - in Stephen Frears' drama based on Shrabani Basu's book 'Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen's Closet Confidant'.

The book documents the true story of how young clerk Abdul Karim travelled from Agra, India, to London to help present a ceremonial coin during Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.

They struck up a close friendship and Abdul instructed the monarch in Urdu and eventually he became a replacement for her confidante John Brown.

The screenplay has been written by Billy Elliott's Lee Hall and the movie is due to start filming in September on location in India, Scotland and the Isle of White.

Dench's portrayal of Queen Victoria in 'Mrs Brown' - which documented her relationship with John Brown - earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination, while she won the BAFTA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama.

Queen Victoria is not the only monarch Dench has portrayed, as in 1998 she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Elizabeth I in 'Shakespeare in Love'.