Good artists borrow, great artists steal, and then there is the question of Tony Blair.
In an article published in the Daily Telegraph of London, screenwriter Peter Morgan suggests that an account of Blair's first meeting with Queen Elizabeth after he became prime minister in 1997, as recounted in Blair's memoir, A Journey, is at least heavily inspired by a similar scene Morgan wrote for the 2006 feature The Queen.
Morgan, whose works also include Frost/Nixon and The Special Relationship, told the Telegraph that he had made up his dialogue for The Queen without any insider knowledge or even trying "to find out what had been said."
So how did Blair's account end up so similar to Morgan's screenplay? Morgan offered a few theories to the Telegraph:
"There are three possibilities. The first is guessed absolutely perfectly, which is highly unlikely; the second is Blair decided to endorse what I imagined as the official line; and the third is that he had one gin and tonic too many and confused the scene in the film with what had actually happened, and this I find amusing because he always insisted he had never even seen it."
A spokesman for Random House, which published A Journey, in which Blair discusses his drinking among other topics, wrote in an e-mail, "As Tony Blair says whenever he is asked about it, he hasn't actually ever seen the film The Queen."
Blair and the queen — or 'The Queen'?