Queen Cate graces the red carpet

Cate Blanchett gave a regal performance on the red carpet tonight at the premiere of her new film about Queen Elizabeth I.

Cate Blanchett gave a regal performance on the red carpet tonight at the premiere of her new film about Queen Elizabeth I.

The statuesque Australian actress, 38, showed off an hour-glass figure in a grey, sequinned off-the-shoulder dress.

But her co-star, Rhys Ifans, avoided questions about his relationship with Sienna Miller by arriving alone and refusing to talk to the press.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age is the sequel to Elizabeth, the 1998 Oscar-nominated film which also starring Blanchett.

It explores the relationship between the monarch and adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh, played by Clive Owen.

The film is set in 1585 when Elizabeth I was continuing to face lust for her throne and the lingering threat of family betrayal, having reigned over England for nearly three decades.

Blanchett, looking stunning in Vivienne Westwood months after she shocked onlookers by appearing to be painfully thin at a film event, said the interest in an actress’s weight is “banal”.

She said of the English monarch that “in an incredibly savage time, she showed remarkable religious tolerance”.

“In that particular period it was one of the most stable empires of that time.”

Blanchett, who recently played Bob Dylan in a film, was asked for her thoughts on what it would be like to be a man.

She joked: “I don’t think about gender but I don’t know what I would do with the tackle.”

The film, which had its UK premiere tonight in London’s Leicester Square, is directed by Shekhar Kapur.

He said of the actress: “She’s absolutely incredible. It’s a much more difficult part (than in the original film), a much tougher part.

“It’s a stunning performance. She deserves an Oscar – she didn’t get it the first time round and she deserved it then.”

Blanchett’s co-stars, Geoffrey Rush and unknown Eddie Redmayne, were also at the event.

Redmayne said: “I’m very proud of it. It’s very dramatic. I was also in Helen Mirren’s Elizabeth I (the Channel 4 drama), which was more factually true.”

Other stars who attended tonight included Heather Graham, Lady Victoria Hervey, Big Brother twins Sam and Amanda, Mariella Frostrup and Richard E Grant.

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