When the Queen agreed to a secret plan for her to appear on film alongside James Bond for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games, she had just one stipulation – that she could deliver the line: "Good evening, Mr Bond." Footage of the monarch apparently being rescued from Buckingham Palace by the secret agent – played by Daniel Craig – and then appearing to parachute into the Olympic Stadium in a sequence performed by a stuntman dressed as her, delighted an estimated global audience of 900 million people.
And according to one of her closest aides, it took just "five minutes" to persuade Her Majesty to agree to director Danny Boyle's audacious request. In her new book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, exclusively serialised in HELLO! this week, Angela Kelly, the Queen's dresser of 25 years, recalls how she was called to a meeting with Boyle and Private Secretary Edward Young to discuss the idea in 2011.
The Queen asked to deliver the lines 'Good evening, Mr Bond'
"Having listened to Danny's plan, I asked him and Edward to give me five minutes so that I could ask the Queen," she says. "I remember the look of shock on Danny's face that I would be asking Her Majesty straight away, but there's no point in waiting around with these things: if she said no, that would be the end of it.
"I ran upstairs and luckily the Queen was free. 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.'
She appeared opposite actor Daniel Craig
"I asked whether she would like to say: 'Good evening, James,' or: 'Good evening, Mr Bond,' and she chose the latter, knowing the Bond films. Within minutes, I was back in Edward's office delivering the good news to Danny – I think he almost fell off his chair when I said that the Queen's only stipulation was that she could deliver that iconic line: 'Good evening, Mr Bond.'"
Angela created two identical peach outfits for the project – one for the Queen, which she wore in the film segment and for the Opening Ceremony itself – and one for stuntman Gary Connery, who famously plunged from a helicopter over the stadium wearing the dress, hat and matching bloomers.
Read the full report in this week's issue of HELLO! magazine, out on Monday.
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