Queen Elizabeth II: Theresa May shares funny cheese anecdote
Queen Elizabeth II’s reign saw some extraordinary moments, not least her launching herself from an aeroplane with another British icon, James Bond.
2023, the year of her death aged 96, also marked the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee which saw her become the UK’s longest-reigning monarch, even surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
As part of the Platinum Party celebrations, the British public was enthralled by the Queen having afternoon tea with the children’s literature character, loved by many, Paddington Bear.
During the skit, a beautifully engraved pot of tea is carried through Buckingham Palace and a teacup is placed in front of Paddington, who thanks the Queen for having him, adding: “I do hope you’re having a lovely Jubilee”.
Her Majesty, who sits across from him, then asks if he would like tea. Paddington gleefully says yes and proceeds to pick up the teapot and guzzle straight from the spout until one of the Queen’s footmen – played by Simon Farnaby – clears his throat, indicating that Paddington should pour some for the Queen.
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But as Paddington proceeds to do so, there are only a few drops left, but the Queen – ever gracious – merely says “never mind”. Disaster strikes: Paddington loses his balance, before eventually steadying himself, but plants one of his paws on the chocolate, cream-filled eclairs laid out on the table.
He then says “oh dear” and offers the Queen one of his famous marmalade sandwiches, which he always keeps handy “for emergencies”. But the Queen then replies “so do I” and proceeds to bring one out of her handbag, saying “I keep mine in here, for later”.
Paddington then takes off his hat as he says: “Happy Jubilee Ma’am and thank you, for everything”. To which the Queen replies: “That’s very kind,” and begins clinking her teaspoon on her teacup to the beat of Queen’s We Will Rock You.
As lovely as the Paddington sketch was, it was far from Her Majesty’s most adventurous.
During the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the Queen made a magnificent appearance leaving the entire country in stitches and in awe – as she appeared to leap out of a helicopter accompanied by James Bond.
During the sketch, a black cab is seen arriving at Buckingham Palace, which was, at that time, the Queen’s official residence, from which James Bond – played by Daniel Craig – emerges.
He then walks through the palace followed by two of the Queen’s treasured corgis. He is then introduced to the Queen by one of her staff who announces: “Mr Bond, Your Majesty”.
The Queen, sitting at a desk, continues to make notes as 007 clears his throat before Her Majesty then turns around and greets him, saying the classic phrase: “Good evening, Mr Bond”.
According to the Queen’s dressmaker and confidante, Angela Kelly, Her Majesty had insisted on having a speaking part.
In her book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, Ms Kelly wrote: “There are few occasions on which Her Majesty will agree to break protocol, but in 2011 when film director Danny Boyle approached the Royal Household, he had a request to make that we simply could not refuse. She was very amused by the idea and agreed immediately. I asked then if she would like a speaking part. Without hesitation, Her Majesty replied: ‘Of course, I must say something. After all, he is coming to rescue me’.”
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The Queen then walks back through the corridor, followed by Mr Bond and accompanied by the two corgis before climbing red-carpeted steps, and alighting a helicopter.
The helicopter then appears to fly over London and its famous landmarks, such as Big Ben and the statue of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, as the Dam Busters music plays while the Queen waves at those flying Union Jack flags below.
The statue of Mr Churchill comes alive and waves his cane as they pass, leaving Mr Bond somewhat perturbed.
The helicopter continues to head East, before flying over the Olympic Stadium. As they hover above, Mr Bond opens the door and looks down below, surveying the scene.
He then watches as Her Majesty walks forward and launches herself from the helicopter – with a Union Jack parachute billowing behind her – as gasps ripple through the stadium with the James Bond theme tune playing.
The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, walk to their seats in the stadium to rapturous applause from the 60,000-person stadium.
It was revealed that Her Majesty had only agreed to take part in the stunt on the condition that it would be kept secret from Royal Family as she wanted to surprise them – with it even being kept under wraps from then Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet.
The ceremony’s production stage manager, Sam Hunter, made the revelation when speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Reunion, celebrating the Games’ tenth anniversary.
Mr Hunter told the programme: “The Queen never told her family she was doing it.
“That was one of the stipulations, that she agreed to be part of it… So, if you actually see when she comes and she takes her seat, you can see her family go, ‘Ah, nice one’.”
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