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Her voice was the stuff of legend, drawing thousands who had heard awe-inspiring stories of her ­unbelievable performances.

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Read more: The Queen: 10 facts that brought Helen Mirren’s Oscar-winning movie to life “I heard her singing on You Tube and it was gobsmacking.

The recording is so hilarious and dreadful but also touching and so affecting.” But the film doesn’t just provide another opportunity to mock the afflicted, it also explores the love affair between ­Florence and her husband, played by Hugh Grant , 55.

St Clair ensured no criticism ever reached Florence’s ears.

But while he meant well, he protected her too long.

Florence was filled with such false ­confidence that she organised an ill-fated performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. While everyone knew she would be humiliated in front of an audience of thousands, she believed it was the pinnacle of her glittering career.

The reality was that Florence had only ever given “invitation only” performances to small groups of sycophants.

So when she murdered classics, like The Queen of the Night’s famously challenging aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, they just applauded.

Only at the end of her life did Florence learn the heartbreaking truth, and some believed it killed her.

Yet after her death, aged 76, her self-belief earned her a curious cult status, one that’s now being celebrated in a new film starring Meryl Streep as the soprano.

Simply titled Florence Foster Jenkins, the biography is directed by Stephen Frears, whose other films include The Queen and Philomena.

He says: “There is a famous recording of her, and I was told that back in the 60s people used to play it at dinner parties.

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