Very few people thought the Queen would ever be able to top her James Bond sketch for the London 2012 Olympics Games, but it turns out all she needed was a special visit from a bear from deepest, darkest Peru.
The Monarch teamed up with Paddington Bear to film a special clip for the BBC’s Party at the Palace, which marked the third day of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
It saw them enjoying a slightly disastrous afternoon tea, before the Queen revealed she always keeps an emergency marmalade sandwich in her handbag – just like the beloved bear.
And it wasn’t just well-wishers who were delighted by surprise clip, as it turns out she kept the whole thing a secret from the royal family.
Here’s everything we know about that adorable sketch…
The Queen decided to keep her meeting with Paddington Bear a secret from her nearest and dearest, and they didn’t find out about it until they watched it with everyone else.
And their surprise was obvious when the TV cameras panned to their faces, and they laughed and beamed in delight.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte looked particularly entertained by their great-granny’s performance.
Speaking about the film at a street party on Sunday, Princess Beatrice said: “I’ve always wondered what was in her handbag and now we know. The secret is out, it’s a marmalade sandwich.”
Half day of filming
The clip was actually filmed at Windsor Castle rather than Buckingham Palace.
Just like in the hit films, Paddington was voiced by James Bond star Ben Whishaw.
However not wanting to “ruin the magic”, palace aides refused to tell The Telegraph how the Queen was able to speak to the fictional bear.
Why Queen got involved
The Palace said the Queen couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have tea with such a famous bear.
They said: “Her Majesty is well known for her sense of humour, so it should be no surprise that she decided to take part in tonight’s sketch. There was an interest in the filming and animation process and the opportunity to invite a famous bear to tea was just too much fun to miss.
“While The Queen may not be attending the concert in person, she was very keen that people understood how much it meant to her and that all those watching had a great time.”
The film was kept under wraps for several months by Buckingham Palace, BBC Studios and Heyday Films/StudioCanal.
Those involved in the film praised the Queen’s wit and warmth during the process, saying she shone and put them all at ease. Rosie Alison of Heyday Films said: “Filming Her Majesty’s tea party with Paddington Bear was such an emotional day for the entire crew.
“All of us were in awe of the Queen’s wit, warmth and radiant aura as she patiently engaged with a polite, clumsy but very well-intentioned bear.
“Of course, she shone, and put Paddington (and all of us) at ease. Capturing this lovely encounter was an absolute joy and unique privilege for the whole team.”
Mark Sidaway, executive producer for the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace, added: “We were thrilled and honoured when we learned Her Majesty had agreed to run with this touching yet joyful idea the team had come up with – although it was slightly nerve-wracking ensuring it all blended seamlessly with the live performance from Queen + Adam Lambert.”
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