Dame Helen Mirren takes “great pride and pleasure” in knowing she has “earned” everything she has in her life as when she was growing up she didn't even have a washing machine.

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren

The 75-year-old actress has insisted she didn’t grow up in a well-off household, and was always told by her parents that she needed to be “financially independent” when she grew up.

And having become one of the world’s most famous actresses, Helen is proud to be able to say she followed her parents’ advice.

She said: “Everything I have I have earned. I come from not a working-class situation, but certainly a financially impoverished one.

"We didn't have a television when I was growing up or a washing machine or a car, but the one thing my parents taught me - and it was very important for me as a woman - was ‘You must become financially independent’.

“When I became an actress, it was very important to me to become financially secure, and I have always worked. And I am now financially independent, and I did it myself. Nobody helped me. I take great pride and pleasure in that.

The ‘Good Liar’ star is also thankful to have a “loyal and understanding” husband in Taylor Hackford, whom she married in 1997.

Helen says she “admires” her spouse, and thinks they have the “necessary combination” of admiration and love that keeps their marriage strong.

She explained: “I have the incredible advantage in my life of having a husband who is both loyal and understanding and in response I give him back my loyalty and understanding too. We couldn’t be married without that.

“I admire my husband, too, which is essential. I'm not going to sit there saying, ‘Oh, darling, you're so marvellous. You're so wonderful.

How smart of you and blah blah blah’. but I do think that admiration and love are a necessary combination for a marriage. And I admire my husband considerably.”

Helen and Taylor spent the entire COVID-19 pandemic together in isolation at their home, and the ‘Queen’ actress couldn’t have been happier.

Speaking to Yours magazine, she said: “For the first time ever, my husband and I have spent time together doing things like sitting down to dinner every night. Usually we're in different parts of the world for work.”