Madonna thinks the way the British royal family's role has changed is a "shame".

The 'W.E.' filmmaker thinks monarchs of the past were like celebrities to the public, whereas these days the ruling family are simply viewed as "ambassadors".

She said: "I think the royal family of the 30s and 40s were the stars of their day. Edward VIII was really like a movie star. People were in love with him.

"Now, with the royals, their role in society seems to be reduced to being ambassadors. I think it's a shame in a way. I like the old-fashioned way."

Although Princess Beatrice was a guest at the 'W.E.' premiere party last week, Madonna insists she is not friends with royalty.

Asked if she knows the current royals, she told Grazia magazine: "I don't really. I don't get invited to any of their parties!"

Madonna also discussed her belief that growing up without wealth gave her more of an appreciation of the value of money.

She said: "I I think when you have to earn your way in the world, you have a completely different outlook."