'Victoria & Abdul' director Stephen Frears thinks it takes ''a lot of balls'' to be the Queen.

The 76-year-old moviemaker has refuted the idea that his new film about Queen Victoria's friendship with her Indian servant Abdul Karim makes for an odd subject choice, and has also claimed the Monarch triggers special memories in the minds of Britons.

The self-confessed Republican, who also directed 'The Queen' in 2006, explained: ''Actually when you look at both - I used to say at the time of 'The Queen' that I'm not a monarchist, I'm a queen-ist - we all like the Queen because she reminded us all of our mothers.

''Victoria, in this film, is such an eccentric figure, absolutely taking the p**s out of the conventional people, so I guess I'm a Queen-ist again.

''It's rather interesting, it's somehow the Queens who are the ones who have done best, aren't they, in British history.''

Asked why that is the case, Stephen told Den of Geek: ''I imagine it takes a lot of balls to be Queen.''

Queen Victoria's relationship with Abdul was considered to be very unusual, partly because he came from a Muslim family in India.

And Stephen has joked he doesn't expect his new movie to be received especially warmly by US President Donald Trump.

Asked if his film is a little Trojan horse, Stephen replied: ''If it is it's a huge one, isn't it?

''It just comes out straight forwardly and says, 'good for Muslims'. I don't think it would go down very well with Donald Trump. But I don't expect the revolution to take place.''