As the world mourns Queen Elizabeth II, tributes to her extraordinary duty and devotion to the nation have been pouring in. However, many have also remembered and highlighted her playfulness, cheeky humour and talent for accents. The nation was stunned by her hilarious James Bond sketch, and deeply proud that our “noble and gracious queen” could also represent our world-famous subversive sense of humour. Speaking to the House of Commons, Boris Johnson described The Queen’s “innocent joy” at the reactions to it all during private conversations with the monarch.
The film Paddington is back on our TV screens tonight, preceded by a replaying of that iconic moment in Buckingham Palace.
Back in June, millions of viewers plus the hundreds of thousands massed outside Buckingham Palace and The Mall – and the royal family gathered in stands opposite the statue of Queen Victoria – stopped as one in shock when Her Majesty appeared on-screen in a special moment that had been kept secret from absolutely everyone.
At a spectacular room inside Buckingham Palace, The Queen was sitting down to tea – with a very special guest.
Joining in the parliamentary tributes to the monarch, Johnson said: “Today there are countless people in this country and around the world who have experienced the same sudden access of unexpected emotion. Millions of us are trying to understand why we are feeling this deep and personal and almost familial sense of loss. It’s partly that she’s always been there a changeless human reference point in British life.”
But he also brought laughter at his recollection of two extraordinary scenes that stunned the world. First, the jaw-dropping 2012 moment when the Queen greeted Daniel Craig’s James Bond at Buckingham Palace and then, staggeringly, appeared to leap out of a helicopter over the Olympic stadium, before appearing in the royal box in the same pink dress.
Johnson said: “I remember her innocent joy more than ten years ago, after the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, when I told her the leader of a friendly Middle Eastern country seemed actually to believe she had jumped out of a helicopter in a pink dress and parachuted into the stadium.
“I remember her equal pleasure on being told just a few weeks ago that she had been smash hit in her performance with Paddington Bear.”
For seventy years on the throne, the Queen brought remarkable joy to the nation. How wonderful to know that she also felt it back herself.