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Queen shines as new Bond girl
Doug Conway, AAP Senior Correspondent
07:54 AEST Sat Jul 28 2012

Move over Halle Berry, Honor Blackman, Ursula Andress, Kim Basinger and Britt Ekland. The Queen is the new Bond girl, and she's got you all covered.

What an audacious thought - an 86-year-old great grandmother parachuting from a helicopter alongside James Bond into London's Olympic stadium before a global TV audience of more than a billion.

It didn't really happen, of course. But the fact that the Queen was happy to play along with the opening ceremony gag set her apart as the coolest monarch in the world, and the hippest great granny to boot.

Considering her normally staid, professionally proper and majestic place at the head of the commonwealth, it was a bold call that stunned the world.

But the Queen's movie acting debut probably did more to boost the stocks of the monarchy in a couple of minutes than a couple of centuries of pomp and circumstance.

In a scene filmed in advance and screened for the first time at Friday's Olympics spectacular, Bond actor Daniel Craig arrived at Buckingham Palace in a dinner jacket and strode past Corgis to meet the Queen.

"Good evening Mr Bond," she said, before they left together, apparently flying away in a helicopter towards the Olympic Stadium.

Back in real time, to peals of laughter and delight from the crowd, "the Queen" followed by "Bond", parachuted from a helicopter towards the stadium, to the dramatic strains of the famous 007 theme.

Seconds later the real Queen, wearing the same salmon dress as she did in the filmed segment, received a standing ovation as she entered the arena with Prince Philip.

It was a piece of showbiz magic that will be remembered long after many million-dollar stunts from previous Games ceremonies are forgotten.

It showed that the Queen was willing to do her bit for her country, even if it meant bending the stuffy rules of state.

It showed, publicly and officially, that she could laugh at herself, and the rest of the world laughed along with her.

It also made the most potent use of what is often overlooked as Britain's greatest national asset - its sense of humour.

Rowan Atkinson underlined that moments later in a hilarious one-fingered performance on electronic organ as Mr Bean in a rendition of Chariots Of Fire.

But he is a professional comic, and we expect him to be funny.

The Queen and Mr Bean - what a team.

Elizabeth II is now perfectly entitled to introduce herself to strangers with a steely look and the words: "Windsor. Betty Windsor."

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Opening Ceremony
Archery
Athletics
Badminton
Basketball
Beach Volleyball
Boxing
BMX
Cycling
Diving
Equestrian
Fencing
Football
Gymnastics
Handball
Hockey
Judo
Modern Pentathlon
Rowing/Canoe/Kayak
Sailing
Shooting
Swimming
Synchro
Table Tennis
Taekwondo
Tennis
Triathlon
Volleyball
Water Polo
Weightlifting
Wrestling
Closing ceremony
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