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How Helen Mirren won the White House correspondents’ dinner — before it even started

Dame Helen Mirren showed up at the White House correspondents’ dinner with purple gown, a purple tattoo near her collarbone and a plan to honor Prince.

The hand-drawn symbol is temporary, but the actress still wanted to honor the legendary singer, who died suddenly last week at age 57. “I admire great artists and he was a great artist,” she said, according to The Post’s Roxanne Roberts.

Live updates from the White House correspondents’ dinner

Mirren says she wishes the drawing had a cooler story. “I’d love to say that Prince himself did it in 1988 or something, instead of me in the bathroom this morning,” Mirren told The Post’s Emily Heil.

Video: Larry Wilmore’s correspondents’ dinner speech, in 2 minutes

Lord knows, she didn’t have to make such an effort to get attention. From the time she arrived on the WHCD party scene Friday night, the Oscar winner was perhaps the most sought-after A-lister in town. At the dinner itself, she had a prime table with both Joe Biden and John Kerry. I mean, she is Dame Helen Freakin Mirren.

[The pre-game for White House correspondents’ dinner: Bloody Marys and brunch selfies with Helen Mirren]

This isn’t the first time Mirren has arrived in Washington with a visible message: The actress showed up at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2005 with a t-shirt over her dress as a tribute to Hurricane Katrina victims:

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The Onion is throwing Joe Biden a party. He won’t be there.