The actress, 54, is set to play the queen in The Audience

By Simon Perry
Updated March 19, 2015 12:00 PM

Kristin Scott Thomas came face to face with her next subject when she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.

The actress, 54, is set to play the queen, 88, in the play The Audience, which opens next month in London’s West End. She is replacing another Dame, Helen Mirren, who originated the role when the play premiered in London in 2013.

“[The queen] asked me what I was doing next, so I had to tell her, and she said it would be quite a challenge,” the star told reporters as she beamed with delight while showing off her medal at Buckingham Palace. Scott Thomas was awarded the honor in recognition of her services to drama.

The play, by Peter Morgan, who wrote the movie The Queen, focuses on the monarch’s weekly meetings with various British prime ministers.

Scott Thomas joins an impressive list of theatrical dames, which also includes Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

The versatile film and stage actress made her name in movies like Four Weddings and a Funeral and The English Patient.