Queen, the new Bond girl, a rage

Queen Elizabeth needed little persuading in making her film debut, appearing with the country's most famous fictional spy James Bond during the London Olympic opening ceremony, organisers said on Saturday.

“The Queen was delighted to be asked, and be involved in something so exceptional,” a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman told Reuters.

“Very pleased to take part, and it was our Olympics and the Queen was delighted to be part of it.”

The 86-year-old monarch was also happy for two of her beloved corgis, Monty, 13, and Holly, nine, to play cameo roles.  The short pre-recorded clip, which showed 007 escorting the Queen to the stadium, revealed a self-deprecating side rarely seen by the public and gave a window into her well-reported sharp sense of humour.

The depiction of her derring-do arrival was a quirky moment in an eclectic ceremony on Friday.

The opening shot showed the Queen sitting at a writing table in Buckingham Palace, welcoming Bond, played by Daniel Craig.  “Good evening, Mr Bond,” she said, turning around in her chair, dressed in a pale peach outfit.

The pair then made their way to a waiting helicopter in the grounds of the central London palace, seemingly leaving her doting corgis on the doorstep.

The helicopter then zipped across the city where a man dressed in a tuxedo skydived down into the Olympic Park in east London, followed by a figure in a pale peach dress.

The Queen then immediately appeared in the main stadium in front of 60,000 spectators -- and without a hair out of place, before taking her seat.
 
The film was the brainchild of the ceremony's director Danny Boyle, but it was London organising committee (LOCOG) chairman Seb Coe who first approached the palace in 2011.

When asked how much it took to persuade the Queen to take part, a LOCOG spokeswoman said: “Not much.”

“I think she really liked the whole concept Danny had put together.”
Oscar-winning director Boyle shot the scenes in the palace's quadrangle, the Grand Entrance, the East Gallery, the Audience Room and the West Terrace, in March and April this year.

Her off-beat appearance was a hit with the British media.

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