Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes was told to "be quiet" by Queen Elizabeth II.

The 79-year-old actress met the monarch at a Buckingham Palace reception to mark British book week 15 years ago, and not only did she annoy the Queen with her answers to her questions, she further irritated her by insisting on butting in on a conversation she was having with another guest.

After being asked what she did by the queen, Miriam replied she was the "best reader of stories in the whole world", prompting the monarch to quickly move on to the person next to her, a man who helped dyslexic children.

But the actress was so interested in their conversation, she couldn't help but start to ask questions, prompting the queen to lose patience and tell her to "be quiet".

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Miriam reflected to The Times newspaper: "I don't know what possessed me. I behaved in that stupid way that people do when they meet royalty; you lose your marbles. It was a bit pulverising actually."

The Duchess of Cornwall shares a joke with Richard E Grant and Miriam Margolyes. Photo / Getty Images
The Duchess of Cornwall shares a joke with Richard E Grant and Miriam Margolyes. Photo / Getty Images

But even the Queen's rebuke didn't stop Miriam from talking.

She admitted: "I went on talking, I had verbal diarrhoea because I was so embarrassed, I think."

The Age of Innocence star is known for her outspoken ways and admitted she doesn't think she's always been taken seriously as an actress.

She said: "I don't think I am taken quite as seriously as an actress as I would like to be.

"But you ask any actor and they will tell you that.

"You don't altogether choose your career. Your career happens and I have been very lucky to have continued working.

"Because I have never been good looking. I have never had a good figure, I have never had a beautiful face, I have never been sexy."

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Miriam has never been subjected to sexual harassment at work - and vowed she would have given it short shrift if she had.

She said: "Harvey Weinstein never approached me. But I can assure you that if he had I would have stamped on his swollen member."