January 03, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Thanks to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, indie queen Nia Vardalos is consorting with an actual monarch. The actress was seated next to Queen Elizabeth at a recent dinner party in Winnipeg. ”We talked about everything from global warming to jewelry,” says Vardalos. ”She asked, ‘Do you really have this big fat Greek family?’ I said, ‘Well, I do have 27 first cousins.’ And she went, ‘Now, now. I have 23.”’ Vardalos recalls the queen dished about her own big fat royal family. ”She said, ‘You know, Philip is Greek, but he had to be de-Greeked in order for us to get married in my church — sorry about that.’ So I told her, ‘That’s all right. My husband [Felicity actor Ian Gomez] had to be Greeked. I figure we have a free trade agreement.”’

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