DAME Helen Mirren nearly turned down her damehood from Queen Elizabeth II because accepting the honour went against her beliefs. The 60-year-old actress eventually agreed and is relieved she didn't let her political leanings sway her from collecting her damehood in 2003. Mirren says, "I considered it (not accepting) but not for very long. My father was very Left-wing, so you end up believing what your parents believe to some extent but those edges soften as you get older. I've never been very political. "I found the whole thing very moving. You meet extraordinary people who've done a lot for tourism in the Lake District or run a centre for battered women and I felt deeply honoured to be there."