The Queen sat down for afternoon tea with Bear Paddington, but kept the meeting a secret from Prince William, Kate Middleton and the rest of the royal family.
Very few people thought that the Queen would ever be able to surpass her James Bond sketch for the London 2012 Olympic Games, but it turned out that all she needed was a special visit from a bear from the deepest, darkest Peru.
The monarch teamed up with Paddington Bear to record a special clip for the BBC’s party at the Palace, which marked the third day of its platinum jubilee.
They saw them enjoying a somewhat disastrous afternoon tea, before the Queen discovered that she always kept a sandwich with jam in her purse for emergencies – just like her beloved bear.
And not only well-wishers were delighted with the surprise video, because it turned out that she kept the whole thing a secret from the royal family.
Here is everything we know about this wonderful sketch …
A royal surprise
The Queen decided to keep her meeting with Paddington Bear secret from her loved ones, and they only found out when they watched it with everyone else.
And their surprise was obvious when the TV cameras flew over their faces, and they laughed and beamed with delight.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte seemed particularly amused by the performance of their great-grandmother.
Speaking about the film at a street party on Sunday, Princess Beatrice said: “I always wondered what was in her purse, and now we know. The secret has been revealed, it’s a marmalade sandwich.”
Half a day of filming
The footage was actually taken at Windsor Castle, not at Buckingham Palace.
As in hit movies, Paddington was voiced by James Bond star Ben Whishaw.
However, not wanting to “ruin the magic”, the assistants from the palace refused to tell the Telegraph how the queen managed to talk to the fictional bear.
Why the queen intervened
The palace said that the queen could not refuse the opportunity to drink tea with such a famous bear.
They said: “Her Majesty is known for her sense of humor, so it should come as no surprise that she decided to take part in tonight’s sketch. There was interest in the filming and animation process and the opportunity to invite the famous bear for tea was too much fun to missed it.
“Although the Queen may not be attending the concert in person, she was very interested in making people understand how much it means to her and that all those who watched it had a great time.”
Praise the crew
The film was kept secret by Buckingham Palace for several months, BBC Studios and Heyday Films / StudioCanal.
Those who participated in the film praised the Queen’s wit and warmth during the process, saying that she shone and relaxed them all. Rosie Alison of Heyday Films said: “Shooting Her Majesty’s Tea Party with Paddington Bear was such an emotional day for the whole team.
“We were all delighted with the Queen’s wit, warmth and radiant aura as she patiently dealt with the decent, clumsy but very well-meaning bear.
“Of course, she shone and relaxed Paddington (and all of us). Filming this wonderful encounter was an absolute joy and a unique privilege for the whole team.”
Mark Sidaway, executive producer for the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace, added: “We were thrilled and honored to learn that Her Majesty agreed to run with this touching but joyful idea that the team came up with – even though it was a little nervous … devastating, ensuring that it all blends seamlessly with the live performance of Queen + Adam Lambert. “
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