As if the titles of Queen and Defender of the Faith weren’t enough, Queen Elizabeth II gained another title last night during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games: Bond Girl.
The scene is played out in a cheeky and irresistible video: a tuxedo-clad James Bond (as played by stone-faced Daniel Craig) arrives at Buckingham Palace in an iconic black cab. Bond bounds up the red carpet-clad Palace stairs and is escorted into the Queen’s presence. As she finishes her paperwork, the Queen turns and says, “Good evening, Mr. Bond”. With a glint of mischief in their eyes, the unlikely pair boards a helicopter waiting in the garden behind Buckingham Palace. After a panoramic tour over London, the Queen and Bond parachute out of the helicopter and arrive at the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony. It’s all in a day’s work for the Queen and for her top secret agent.
The wonderful and unexpected surprise of the video is when the Queen turns around to speak to Bond and it really is the Queen. It is well-known that Her Majesty refuses to do anything she perceives as a “stunt”, so we are accustomed to filmmakers using doubles to portray the Queen, and this is what the unsuspecting viewer expects. However, after director Danny Boyle suggested the Queen and England’s greatest secret agent team up for a little something unexpected, he received the cooperation of the Palace and – most surprising of all – the Queen herself.
During the filming, the Queen gave Boyle’s team unprecedented access and said she was “delighted” to participate. The Queen also earned high praise on her acting abilities from the Oscar-winning director. “You don’t have to tell her something twice,” he told NBC. “She picks it up straight away, about cameras and angles.”
On a tour of the Orbit Tower in the Olympic Park today with London Mayor Boris Johnson, the Queen and Mayor discussed the history-making video. Johnson commented that the Queen was impressed about the success of her first film role and that she had great fun making the video, which was filmed in March and April. Most of all, Johnson said, the Queen was eager to know if people enjoyed it. The enthusiastic Mayor reassured the Queen that the video had become the highlight of the opening ceremony.
For a first-time actress, the Queen ran into no trouble from her glamorous co-star, Daniel Craig. Boyle revealed that the Queen “…and Daniel (Craig) got on very well, her and James Bond got on very well so that was all tickety-boo, and the corgis were fine as well.” What else could one expect from the Queen and her top secret agent?