Did Blair lift lines from Queen film for his book?
TONY Blair has been accused of using lines from the film The Queen in his autobiography.
Scriptwriter Peter Morgan said he believed the former Prime Minister’s memory of real events had become ‘blurred’ by watching the movie. Lines in Mr Blair’s 2011 autobiography, My Journey, were uncannily similar to those written for his character in the 2006 film, Mr Morgan told National Public Radio in the US.
The film focuses on Mr Blair’s audiences with the Queen, played by Dame Helen Mirren, immediately after the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
It paints a flattering picture of the then youthful PM, played by Michael Sheen, who deftly convinces Her Majesty to respond to Diana’s death with greater warmth.
Mr Morgan said: ‘In his book, which of course came out many years after we made The Queen, Tony Blair, when referring back to that critical period in the immediate aftermath of Diana’s death, used a number of expressions and quotations that seemed to me to be very familiar because they sounded like my dialogue.
‘And I remember thinking, “I can’t have got it that right!” ’
Mr Morgan did not cite any specific examples. However, in one of the scenes, the Queen’s private secretary asks Sheen’s Mr Blair if the phrase ‘the people’s princess’ is a ‘bit over the top’.
Mr Blair subsequently wrote in his autobiography: ‘The phrase “people’s princess” now seems like something from another age. And corny. And over the top.’
Mr Blair’s spokesman said: ‘He has never watched The Queen.’
‘BLURRED’ MEMORY: Mr Blair