Queen Elizabeth II’s Passion for James Bond
If Queen Elizabeth II had a weakness, it was certainly her passion for James Bond. This is confirmed by the writer and television presenter, close to the Windsors, Gyles Brandreth. The former member of the UK Parliament and author of the bestseller Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait remembers his precious conversations with the late queen, who told him about the royal family’s holidays around the Scottish islands and what, contrary to what one would expect, was the most awaited moment of the trip.
The Queen’s Sympathy for 007
On the other hand, the queen has always shown great sympathy for 007. The British will never forget when Elizabeth II lent herself to play herself in the sketch for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012, devised by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. In the short film, James Bond – Daniel Craig arrived at Buckingham Palace to escort the Queen to the event, and was greeted by Elizabeth, sitting at the desk, with the words: “Good evening Mr Bond”. The two climbed into a helicopter and, upon arrival at the London Stadium, the Queen (an understudy, of course) parachuted in, with the epic soundtrack of the film in the background. Then Elizabeth returned to represent herself in the final part of the clip, when she entered the royal box with Prince Consort Philip.
The Queen’s Relaxed Attitude
It was 2021. Ten years later, in 2022, the Queen returned to act in her own role. For the Platinum Jubilee, she took tea with Paddington Bear, created by writer Michael Bond, who seemed to ignore the palace etiquette. Gyles explains that Her Majesty has “relaxed” during her last years, while continuing to respect the protocol. “She followed tradition as her father and mother did. But, over the years, we had a new idea of her, towards the end of her life, thanks to that wonderful Paddington sketch and the James Bond video“. I wonder if those clips would have existed if the Queen Mother had still been alive. “I don’t think so,” explains Brandreth, “because she wouldn’t have been sure that her mother would have approved”.