Queen demanded speaking part in Olympics James Bond sketch: ‘I must say something’

James Bond: Daniel Craig says film is ‘bigger and better’

Mr Craig makes his fifth and final appearance as 007 in No Time To Die, which had its royal premier at the Royal Albert Hall last night, 18 months later than initially planned due to the pandemic. The film, which hits UK cinemas on Thursday, has an all star cast including Naomie Harris who reprises her role as Miss Moneypenny, Christoph Waltz who returns as criminal mastermind Blofeld, and Lea Seydoux who plays Bond girl Madeleine Swann. No Time To Die, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, sees a retired Bond help CIA agent and friend Felix Leiter search for abducted scientist Valdo Obruchev.

The pair then encounter supervillain Safin, played by Rami Malik, whose devastating plan could see the death of millions. 

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live on the red carpet, Mr Craig said the role was “incredibly important to cinema and to history, and the weight of that has been on my shoulders for a while.”

He added: “I’ve been incredibly lucky.”

Unusually for a royal premier, two generations of the Firm came out for Mr Craig’s last farewell to Bond ‒ Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as well as Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. 

Read more:Prince Andrew ‘pompous as ever’ in new documentary claims commentator

The Queen demanded a speaking part in her sketch with Daniel Craig (Image: Olympics)

Daniel Craig

No Time To Die is Daniel Craig’s fifth and final James Bond film (Image: Getty)

However, it was not the first time the 007 actor had brushed shoulders with royalty. 

Famously, in a sketch screened as part of the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, Bond, played by Mr Craig, escorted the Queen from Buckingham Palace before parachuting into the Olympic Stadium alongside Her Majesty.

Of course, the second part of the Queen’s cameo was played by a stuntman in a wig. 

However, according to royal dresser Angela Kelly’s 2019 book ‘The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe’, director Danny Boyle first pitched the idea to her and the Queen’s deputy private secretary at the time, Edward Young.

Kate, Charles and Camilla

Unusually for a royal premier, two generations of the Firm attended the No Time To Die premier (Image: Getty)

Ms Kelly said: “I asked him and Edward to give me five minutes so that I could ask the Queen. 

“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.”

Ms Kelly claimed the Queen was “very amused” by the idea but insisted upon a speaking role. 

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Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig admitted the Queen was calmer than him while filming the sketch (Image: Getty)

The royal dresser added: “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. 

Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig’s first appearance as Bond was in Casino Royale in 2006 (Image: Getty)

“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.”

Mr Craig revealed that the Queen even improvised a bit when on set, and said the monarch was far calmer than him. 

He said: “Her Majesty’s there, and Danny’s giving her notes. It’s kind of great ‒ ‘Your Majesty, could you possibly erm…?’ And she’s improvising a bit. 

“She literally kind of said ‘would you like me to pretend to be writing?’ And he’s like ‘yes, that’s great, that’s great’.

“So she sort of acted a bit ‒ that was all her own stuff. It was amazing. 

“She was great ‒ calmer than me. 

“My heart was going ‘dum, dum, dum, keep it together, keep it together.’”

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