Queen Elizabeth and James Bond parachute into the Olympic Opening Ceremony


The Queen of England made her film debut in style, getting escorted to the Olympics by James Bond and parachuting into Olympic Stadium from a helicopter in a short film shown at Friday night's Opening Ceremony.



Movie magic was responsible for the death-defying jump -- both Bond actor Daniel Craig and the 86-year-old monarch were portrayed by stunt doubles for the live shot, of course. But that was indeed Queen Elizabeth sitting in her quarters, welcoming James Bond and accepting his invitation to the Olympics in Danny Boyle's three-minute film.
It was believed to be the Queen's first ever appearance in a movie. Boyle and his crew were given unprecedented access to her quarters for the one-day shoot in April.
Nitpickers will point out that the film showed Bond and the Queen leaving in daylight and arriving at nightfall. And you'll notice that the Queen never was shown in the helicopter, only in Buckingham Palace with her corgis in tow. But, come on. The Queen parachuted out of a helicopter! They could have left in a Mini Cooper and arrived in a rickshaw and it wouldn't have mattered.

Bond wasn't the only character of film and literature to make an appearance at the Opening Ceremony. Mary Poppins, Lord Voldemort and Mr. Bean were all featured prominently in Danny Boyle's abstract salute to England.

When you've ridden to the Opening Ceremony in a helicopter with James Bond, watching 500 athletes march into a stadium just can't compare.

Queen Elizabeth, who appeared in an amusing short film with actor Daniel Craig during the kickoff to the London Games, wasn't too impressed with Team Great Britain on Friday night. As 80,000 fans roared at the arrival of the nation's athletes into Olympic Stadium, the Queen was shown on television intently picking her nails, seemingly oblivious to the pandemonium around her.

Earlier in the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth and James Bond were shown taking a helicopter away from Buckingham Palace. Director Danny Boyle filmed the scene in March and the Queen was excellent in her brief role. I'd go so far as to say that she was a better Queen Elizabeth than Helen Mirren. The segment culminated with a live shot of two stuntpeople dressed as the Queen and Bond parachuting out of the helicopter into Olympic Stadium.


All that adrenaline must have taken its toll on the 86-year-old monarch. Displaying her usual stoicism, the Queen couldn't have been less interested in the Great Britain delegation marching in last during the parade of nations. The pool television feed cut to her for three seconds as the team walked on and she was picking her nails for the entirety.




AS IT HAPPENED: #London2012 Opening Ceremony Livestream and LiveBlog 

GO TO: London 2012 Olympics Main Page

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