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Dame Helen Mirren is an icon in many ways, and now adding to the mix is a love guru.
The 76-year-old actor has been married to husband Taylor Hackford for almost 25 years, ever since they wed in 1997, although they were together for 10 years prior to tying the knot.
The Queen actor has shared her tips for a long lasting relationship, and part of it is “unconditional praise”, and keeping your own identity.
Speaking to PEOPLE, the movie legend said: “You know, I believe in unconditional praise from one’s loved ones. I don’t want any criticism. And I give him unconditional praise likewise — more or less. We allow each other to do our own thing, and get on with it.”
“A really important part of love is to maintain your own sense of identity. In a way, that’s the most important thing of all, to not subsume yourself into someone else, far from it. Be honestly and authentically who you are.”
“It’s work. And it’s very important to allow the person you love to be who they are — even if [sometimes] you don’t like it very much.”
Despite Helen and Taylor being together for many years, she believes the coronavirus pandemic brought them even closer together.
She explained: “I’ve worked every year since I was 20. COVID was the first time in the whole of my life I’ve not worked for six months.
“[Many people] were suffering through that terrible, terrible time, but what was valuable for me was that I got to spend time with my husband and sit across the table from him every night for six months — which I’ve never done before — and not worry about or even think about work.”
Helen has admitted she is “constantly” learning new things about her husband, and reaching new depths in her relationship.
She shared: “You’re constantly discovering, learning about the person you love, who suddenly, completely surprises you. You find depths of courage or patience or generosity or that you just didn’t know were there.”