It’s been hailed by social media users as better than her Olympic opening show cameo with James Bond – and it’s no wonder the Queen’s sketch with Paddington bear has been labelled a roaring success, after she spent half a day filming it and even kept it under wraps from some of her family members.
Her Majesty, 96, delighted audiences at the televised BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace after kicking off the festivities with an appearance alongside the fictional character – in which they both enjoyed a chaotic cream tea at ‘Buckingham Palace’.
The monarch and the famous bear tapped out the beat of the We Will Rock You anthem together on china teacups using silver spoons to get the celebrations under way, while the Queen also revealed she shares Paddington’s love of marmalade sandwiches and keeps an emergency stash in her trademark handbag.
Filmed at Windsor Castle, the Queen spent around half a day filming the secretly-pre-recorded humorous two-and-a-half-minute sequence, according to The Telegraph, and the comic sketch was a surprise even to some of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren watching the scenes.
The publication said palace aides refused to ‘ruin the magic’ by explaining how the monarch was able to talk with the fictional bear – however the character, voiced by Ben Whishaw, who played Q in the recent James Bond films, has previously been filmed as just a mechanical head before visual effects are added digitally.
Anna Marsh, who was involved in the film as chief executive of StudioCanal, said: ‘Filming with Her Majesty and Paddington Bear at The Palace is a memory we will all cherish. Her Majesty’s warmth and generosity was a joy to behold.
It’s been hailed by social media users as better than her Olympic opening show cameo with James Bond – and it’s no wonder the Queen’s sketch with Paddington bear has been labelled a roaring success, after she spent half a day filming it and even kept it under wraps from some of her family members
Filmed at Windsor Castle, the Queen spent around half a day filming the secretly-pre-recorded humorous two-and-a-half-minute sequence, according to The Telegraph, and the comic sketch was a surprise even to some of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren watching the scenes (pictured)
The publication said palace aides refused to ‘ruin the magic’ by explaining how the monarch was able to talk with the fictional bear – however the character, voiced by Ben Whishaw (right), who played Q in the recent James Bond films, has previously been filmed as just a mechanical head (left) before visual effects are added digitally
‘And who better to thank Her Majesty than Paddington, over a pot of tea, a marmalade sandwich, and with a touch of chaos. Aunt Lucy would be proud.’
Anna joined StudioCanal in 2008 as VP International Sales. In March 2019, she was appointed Managing Director of StudioCanal UK.
As well as a mechanical head, Paddington’s interactions during filming have also previously been achieved by crew members moving objects for the fictional character and even small actors standing in before the digital bear is added in to the scenes.
The Queen’s secret sketch was the result of months of planning, and saw the duffle-coat wearing bear show the monarch how he ensured he always had his favourite treat on him just in case, lifting up his red hat to reveal his snack.
Her Majesty responded by revealing ‘So do I’ before opening her bag and declaring ‘I keep mine in here’ to show her very own ready-made supply of the bread and orange preserve staple.
Accident-prone Paddington was shown causing mayhem by accidentally depriving the understanding sovereign of another cup of tea and spraying cream from a chocolate éclair over a Palace Footman.
As well as a mechanical head, Paddington’s interactions during filming have also previously been achieved by crew members (pictured) moving objects for the fictional character and even small actors standing in before the digital bear is added in to the scenes
Actors in the previous two Paddington films have also had to perform to thin air – with the fictional character added in digitally at a later date. It’s unclear which setup was used when the production team was filming with the Queen
Tens of thousands of people flocked to Buckingham Palace to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee on Saturday and watch a pop concert that started with the 96-year-old monarch having tea with Paddington Bear
The bear from deepest darkest Peru congratulated the Queen on her reign of 70 years, saying: ‘Happy Jubilee Ma’am. And thank you. For everything.’ The modest Queen replied: ‘That’s very kind.’
It brought back memories of the Queen’s James Bond skit for the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, when the monarch met 007, played by Daniel Craig, and then appeared to parachute into the stadium, with the help of a body double.
Paddington and the Queen were pictured sat opposite each other in ornate chair at a table, laid for afternoon tea, covered with a white linen cloth in an opulent room.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen felt the opportunity to invite Paddington to tea was ‘too fun to miss’.
The Palace 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. Actor Ben Whishaw voiced Paddington, just as he did in the hit movies of the children’s story.
Those involved in the film praised the Queen’s wit and warmth during the process, saying she shone and put them all at ease.
Social media went wild for the Queen’s short clip, with one writing on Twitter: ‘The Queen acts her socks off with Paddington Bear: perfect comic timing’
Mark Sidaway, executive producer for the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace said: ‘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.’
Actor who played the disapproving footman in the Queen’s hilarious Paddington sketch is TV comedy veteran Simon Farnaby
By Nick Craven for MailOnline
The uncredited actor who played the disapproving footman in the Queen’s hilarious Paddington sketch was TV comedy veteran Simon Farnaby.
The 49-year-old comedian and writer is a long-standing member of the Horrible Histories troupe, but is already well acquainted with the bear from darkest Peru, having appeared in Paddington 2 in 2017.
Farnaby, originally from Darlington, is also well known to TV fans of Detectorists and more recently Ghosts, where he played a disgraced MP.
He is married to actress Claire Keelan and wrote the screenplay to this year’s Phantom of the Open, starring Mark Rylance as Maurice Flitcroft, the amateur golfer who blagged his way into the 1976 Open Golf Championship.
Last year, Farnaby told the Big Issue how he was coping with the pandemic and the lockdown.
‘A very wise person once said, tragedy plus time equals comedy,’ he said. ‘If you’re in a tragedy, it’s very hard to laugh about it. This situation’s hard because you can’t go: “Let’s wait three years until we start laughing again.”
‘You’re in it every day. Humour is part of life. It’s quite hard to keep it at bay. Humour is such a great refuge. It’s a tough time and people have lost loved ones. But even then, you can’t keep humour at bay.
‘I’ve had more laughs at funerals than you can imagine. Someone will always crack a joke. And you can’t help but laugh because there’s nothing else to do sometimes.’
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.’
Rosie read English at Keble College, Oxford, and spent over ten years working in television, as a producer-director of arts documentaries.
She is currently Head of Development at Heyday Films in the UK – the production company of the Harry Potter film series.
Paddington, created by late British author Michael Bond, and the Queen share something in common – they both have two birthdays.
When Paddington was adopted by the Brown family, they agreed that bears, ‘just like the Queen’, have two birthdays every year.
The Queen’s actual birthday is on April 21, but she has an official one each year in June. Paddington’s birthday are – on June 25 and December 25.
Social media went wild for the Queen’s short clip, with one writing on Twitter: ‘The Queen acts her socks off with Paddington Bear: perfect comic timing.
‘I’ve heard that she was once nicknamed “One Take Windsor”. A great start to the Party at the Palace and the “other Queen” are storming it!’
One person wrote: ‘I’ve not remotely got into the whole Jubilee thing but I can’t deny that this little Paddington Bear segment with the Queen was so lovely and cute.
‘Then going straight into Adam Lambert and Queen. Seeing so many people come together is lovely, more of this please.
Another person said: ‘The Queen and Paddington Bear was utterly brilliant only eclipsed by her tapping along, on her bone china tea cup to Queen.’
Michelle O said: ‘Watching Queen’s Jubilee concert. The sketch she did with Paddington Bear and pulling a marmalade sandwich out of her handbag. Priceless.
‘Plus tapping her teaspoon on her cup, the intro to ‘We Will Rock You’, I bloody love our Queen.’
Julie Marriot added: ‘Omg I absolutely am in awe at our Queen’s participation with Paddington Bear and marmalade sandwiches in her bag and tapping her teaspoon to the intro of we will rock you! Amazing. It’s going to be a fantastic evening for all.’
User @st_ua_rt wrote: ‘The Queen performing We Will Rock You on the spoons with Paddington Bear. Cancel the rest of the concert. Tonight has already peaked.’