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Liz Hurley - I looked to Princess Diana for inspiration for my role in 'The Royals'

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Liz Hurley as Queen Helena in E! 'The Royals'

Liz Hurley as Queen Helena in E! 'The Royals'

Liz Hurley pictured with her son on the way to Furnish/John nuptials.

Liz Hurley pictured with her son on the way to Furnish/John nuptials.

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Liz Hurley as Queen Helena in E! 'The Royals'

Actress Liz Hurley said she looked to the late Princess Diana for inspiration for new role in controversial E! drama 'The Royals'.

The series, which has been panned by TV critics, sees Liz play matriarch Queen Helena in a fictional take of what it's like to be in a royal family.

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Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, wears a two tone halter dress when she attends a Placedo Domingo concert in 1992.  (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, wears a two tone halter dress when she attends a Placedo Domingo concert in 1992. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, visits St Vincent's Hospital on November 01, 1996 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, visits St Vincent's Hospital on November 01, 1996 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, arrives at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Dinner at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on October 31, 1996 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, arrives at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Dinner at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on October 31, 1996 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)

 Diana, the Princess of Wales (L), and Elizabeth Tilberis (R) arrive at the Fourteenth Annual Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York 30 January 1995. Princess Diana will be presenting a special award to Tilberis for re-inventing Harper's Bazaar magazine. (COLOR KEY: The Princess wears blue.)AFP PHOTO  (Photo credit should read JON LEVY/AFP/Getty Images)

Diana, the Princess of Wales (L), and Elizabeth Tilberis (R) arrive at the Fourteenth Annual Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York 30 January 1995. Princess Diana will be presenting a special award to Tilberis for re-inventing Harper's Bazaar magazine. (COLOR KEY: The Princess wears blue.)AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read JON LEVY/AFP/Getty Images)

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales in Thailand.  (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales in Thailand. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

The Princess of Wales attends a banquet at the President's palace in Yaounde, Cameroon, wearing a blue Catherine Walker dress, March 1990.  (Photo by Georges DeKeerle/Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales attends a banquet at the President's palace in Yaounde, Cameroon, wearing a blue Catherine Walker dress, March 1990. (Photo by Georges DeKeerle/Getty Images)

 Princess Diana and Prince Charles at  film premiere of  "Octopussy"  Odeon Leicester Square in London. (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage)

Princess Diana and Prince Charles at film premiere of "Octopussy" Odeon Leicester Square in London. (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage)

  Diana, Princess of Wales, makes a speech after receiving her award as Humanitarian of the Year from Henry Kissinger at a Cerebal Palsy Dinner on December 11, 1996 in New York, USA.  (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Diana, Princess of Wales, makes a speech after receiving her award as Humanitarian of the Year from Henry Kissinger at a Cerebal Palsy Dinner on December 11, 1996 in New York, USA. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

The awards are in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales

The awards are in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales

 Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince William sit on a bench in the gardens of Kensington Palace on December 14, 1983 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince William sit on a bench in the gardens of Kensington Palace on December 14, 1983 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

 Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales play with their baby son Prince William in the grounds of Government House on April 23, 1983 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales play with their baby son Prince William in the grounds of Government House on April 23, 1983 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Diana, Princess of Wales with baby Prince William in Christmas,1982. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Diana, Princess of Wales with baby Prince William in Christmas,1982. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Princess Diana in Cardiff with her son Prince William at his first official engagement for St. David's Day on March 1, 1991. (Photo by Georges DeKeerle/Getty Images)

Princess Diana in Cardiff with her son Prince William at his first official engagement for St. David's Day on March 1, 1991. (Photo by Georges DeKeerle/Getty Images)

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales leave St Mary's Hospital with baby Prince William  on June 22, 1982  in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales leave St Mary's Hospital with baby Prince William on June 22, 1982 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

The Princess Diana tenderly hugs baby Harry on holiday in Majorca in 1987.

The Princess Diana tenderly hugs baby Harry on holiday in Majorca in 1987.

The Princess leaves St Mary's Hospital in London with her newborn son on September 17, 1984.

The Princess leaves St Mary's Hospital in London with her newborn son on September 17, 1984.

Diana, Princess of Wales attends the London premiere of 'In Love and War' at the Odeon Leicester Square, 12th February 1997. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Diana, Princess of Wales attends the London premiere of 'In Love and War' at the Odeon Leicester Square, 12th February 1997. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Diana, Princess of Wales attends a centenary gala at the Tate Gallery in London, 1st July 1997. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Diana, Princess of Wales attends a centenary gala at the Tate Gallery in London, 1st July 1997. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

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Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, wears a two tone halter dress when she attends a Placedo Domingo concert in 1992. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

The series sees the death of a prince, his brother engaged in various sexual shenanigans, his sister, the princess, flashing her privates in a Paris nightclub and having sex with her bodyguard.

Liz (51) also strips down to lingerie, witnessed by one of the palace underlings.

Speaking to 'Heat' magazine, the mum-of-one said she drew inspiration from the late Princess Diana.

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Liz Hurley as Queen Helena in E! 'The Royals'

Liz Hurley as Queen Helena in E! 'The Royals'

THE ROYALS -- Season: 1 -- Pictured (l-r): (Haley Lu Richardson as Ophelia, Tom Austin as Jasper, William Mosely as Liam, Alexandra Park as Eleanor, Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena, Vincent Regan as King Simon, Jake Maskall as Cyrus, Oliver Milburn as Ted, Hatty Preston as Maribel, Lydia Rose Bewley as Penelope, Ukweli Roach as Marcus) -- (Photo by: James Dimmock/E!)

THE ROYALS -- Season: 1 -- Pictured (l-r): (Haley Lu Richardson as Ophelia, Tom Austin as Jasper, William Mosely as Liam, Alexandra Park as Eleanor, Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena, Vincent Regan as King Simon, Jake Maskall as Cyrus, Oliver Milburn as Ted, Hatty Preston as Maribel, Lydia Rose Bewley as Penelope, Ukweli Roach as Marcus) -- (Photo by: James Dimmock/E!)

Liz Hurley in a scene from E! series 'The Royals'

Liz Hurley in a scene from E! series 'The Royals'

Liz Hurley pictured with her son on the way to Furnish/John nuptials.

Liz Hurley pictured with her son on the way to Furnish/John nuptials.

Liz Hurley (46) has toned down the red carpet look to a more age-appropriate one lately. She is one of the few celebrities who admits to her difficulties maintaining her weight.

Liz Hurley (46) has toned down the red carpet look to a more age-appropriate one lately. She is one of the few celebrities who admits to her difficulties maintaining her weight.

Liz Hurley in scene from new E! series 'The Royals'

Liz Hurley in scene from new E! series 'The Royals'

THE ROYALS -- Season 1 -- Pictured: (l-r)  Manpreet Bachu as Ashok, Ukweli Roach as Marcus, Merritt Patterson as Ophelia, William Moseley as Prince Liam, Lydia Rose Bewley as Penelope, Jake Maskall as Cyrus, Sophie Colquhoun as Gemma, Hatty Preston as Maribel, Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena, Oliver Milburn as Ted, Vincent Regan as King Simon, Alexandra Park as Princess Eleanor, Tom Austen as Jasper  -- (Photo by Frank W. Ockenfels 3/E! Entertainment)

THE ROYALS -- Season 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Manpreet Bachu as Ashok, Ukweli Roach as Marcus, Merritt Patterson as Ophelia, William Moseley as Prince Liam, Lydia Rose Bewley as Penelope, Jake Maskall as Cyrus, Sophie Colquhoun as Gemma, Hatty Preston as Maribel, Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena, Oliver Milburn as Ted, Vincent Regan as King Simon, Alexandra Park as Princess Eleanor, Tom Austen as Jasper -- (Photo by Frank W. Ockenfels 3/E! Entertainment)

The Royals, starring Elizabeth Hurley

The Royals, starring Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley in The Royals

Elizabeth Hurley in The Royals

Elizabeth Hurley attends 'The Royals' New York Series Premiere

Elizabeth Hurley attends 'The Royals' New York Series Premiere

Elizabeth Hurley attends "The Royals" New York Series Premiere

Elizabeth Hurley attends "The Royals" New York Series Premiere

Elizabeth Hurley attends 'The Royals' New York Series Premiere

Elizabeth Hurley attends 'The Royals' New York Series Premiere

Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley

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Liz Hurley as Queen Helena in E! 'The Royals'

"Well, I thought to myself when I got offered this part, what would it have been like if Princess Diana had become Queen of England?

"So I took some inspiration from her, knowing how she dressed, how she spoke. But then, of course, what we never got to see was who Princess Diana really was behind those closed doors. So, I made that up myself."

Princess Diana married Prince Charles in 1981 and she had two sons - Princes William and Harry.

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However, the marriage had a number of difficulties, which became public in the early nineties. Diana had a relationship with army major James Hewitt, while Charles resumed his affair with his now wife Camilla Parker Bowles.

Taped intimate conversations between Diana and art dealer James Gilbey - dubbed 'Squidgygate' by the press - were made public in 1992.

The couple separated in December 1992 and were divorced by 1996.

Diana dated respected heart surgeon Hasnat Khan but their relationship was over the summer of 1997 and she began dating Dodi Al-Fayed, son of Harrods' owner Mohammed Al-Fayed. Dodi and Diana died when the car they were travelling in crashed in Paris in August 1997.

Liz, who is mum to son Damian (13), also told 'Heat' she was a huge fan of Prince Charles.

"I've met Prince Charles a couple of times, because I'm a patron of one of his charities, and I have to say I'm a huge fan of his. I've always voted him the best dressed man in the United Kingdom, if not the world. His tailoring is impeccable. Phenomenal," she said.


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