Queen Elizabeth II stipulated that she deliver the line, “Good evening, Mr. Bond,” in her famous 2012 Olympic skit with Daniel Craig, playing James Bond, according to a new book.
Angela Kelly, who has worked with the Queen for 25 years as a dresser, personal adviser, curator and designer, reportedly relayed the story in “The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.”
“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,” Kelly wrote, according to “Hello!” magazine. “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.’
“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 [private secretary] Edward [Young]‘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.'”
In earlier interviews, the Oscar-winning director Boyle said the London Olympic Opening Ceremony team first asked for permission from the royals to assure them they wouldn’t be embarrassed by the skit. Boyle thought they would use an actress to play the Queen, perhaps Helen Mirren.
“They came back and said, ‘We’re delighted for you to do it, and Her Majesty would like to be in it herself,'” Boyle said in 2013. “And this surreal thing, she would like to play herself.”
Boyle remembered filming the skit in a room where the Queen greets prime ministers. She was not in a good mood after spending the morning with the dentist. At the time, Boyle did not have her down for a speaking role.
“She said, ‘Don’t you think I should say something?'” Boyle remembered. The director obliged and asked what she preferred. “She said, ‘Oh, I’ll do something,’ and we started shooting, and she turned around and she said her lines, beautifully.”
Boyle, in multiple interviews, has cited one part of the five-minute skit as being particularly memorable.
“[The Queen] passes [Bond],” he said on NBC immediately after the Opening Ceremony. “He gives a look as he says, ‘Good evening, your Majesty.’ She walks past him. He does this thing where he thinks I’m a fictional character, she’s a real queen, she’s passing me by and these two worlds are joining. What’s that mean? I’m not sure, but I’m carrying on.”
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