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Writer Recalls Queen Elizabeth II Sweetly Getting Involved In James Bond Sketch With Daniel Craig

Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96 this week. Many may be remembering the Queen for being a formal head of state, others are remembering a quite less formal side of the monarch. The general public may remember her better for some of her recent forays into pop culture, such as her appearance with Daniel Craig at the 2012 Olympic Games, and it turns out she herself muscled her way into that appearance.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce wrote the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic Games, which included an appearance by the Queen herself alongside Daniel Craig as James Bond. He told BBC Breakfast (via THR) that originally the plan was going to be to use a stand-in to play the queen, so they sent somebody to get pictures of the clothes she would be wearing to the ceremony. At this point the Queen’s Dresser stepped in, likely under instruction, to get the Queen in the show herself. Cottrell-Boyce explained…

The Queen’s Dresser said, ‘Why are you doing all this?’ And we told her, ‘So we can make it look like the Queen.’ So she said: ‘Oh, the Queen wants to do it,’ She put herself up for that, she wanted to be in the sketch.

This is great. Certainly, the production probably never even considered asking Queen Elizabeth II if she would be in the sketch, because why in the world would she want to be in a silly James Bond sketch at the Olympics? But it turned out she not only was willing to do it, but she wanted it, and when you’re the head honcho, you tend to get what you want. Queen Elizabeth clearly had a playful side.  Check out the appearance below.

But the story gets even better. Likely because they weren’t planning to use the actual Queen originally, it seems she had no lines in the original script of the sketch. Well, that didn’t sit right with the monarch either, so on the day of filming, she “suggested” to director Danny Boyle that she be given something to say. Cottrell-Boyce continued… 

On the day we were filming, she said to Danny Boyle, ‘I think I should have a line. ’She bagged that. She didn’t have a line in the script.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce was also involved in the Queen’s performance opposite Paddington Bear for her recent Jubilee, and praised her performance, where she had many more lines. As with any other actor performing with a CGI character, she was acting against nothing, but Cottrell-Boyce said it was a “brilliantly timed comedic performance.”

So this was a side of Queen Elizabeth II that probably won’t get talked about as much over the next few days, but it goes a long way to showing us who she was as a person. She got to perform with James Bond outside of the movies as well as Paddington, something many actors have never had the chance to do, and she did it brilliantly. 

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