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On This Day in 2012: The Queen and James Bond jumped from a helicopter

Five years ago today, The Queen and James Bond jumped out of a helicopter over the skies of London to mark the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In a short film made for the Olympics Opening Ceremony, Her Majesty made her acting debut at the age of 86 as she welcomed Daniel Craig to Buckingham Palace.

The Queen greeted the James Bond actor with the famous words: “Good evening Mr Bond”, and proceeded to walk to the helicopter with her footman and corgis.

Although Her Majesty’s jump out of the helicopter was performed by a stunt double, it has gone down as one of the greatest moments in television history.

The film was devised by Danny Boyle in the summer of 2011. The Queen and Buckingham Palace enthusiastically agreed to take part in the stunt.

In total, filming took three hours and involved more than 130 people.

Not only did Her Majesty appear as herself, but her two corgis and her footman, Paul Whybrew, were also featured.

Nicholas Brown, the BBC’s director of Drama Production, said: “She got it in one take. That’s what she does, and she does it very well. She is a professional.

“It was extraordinary to have the two [The Queen and Daniel Craig] together with the corgis and the schoolchildren. The Palace was terrific about the shoot, and we were delighted and honoured that the Queen was involved.”

It is rather fortunate that The Queen didn’t jump out of the helicopter herself, as the two actors who did never made it into the stadium and landed somewhere near Stratford Station.

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