TV & Movies

Queen Elizabeth was signing off in brilliant Jubilee Paddington sketch, says creator

As the nation joins together in mourning following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, tributes have been pouring in from all over the world from heads of state and famous faces.

One of the country's most recent, collective and fondest memories of Queen Elizabeth II came very recently when, during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Her Majesty starred in a sketch with none other than Paddington Bear.

Appearing on BBC News on Friday, the director of the already iconic sketch, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, told the inside story of its creation and praised the late monarch for her "brilliant" and "amazing" acting skills.

Revealing how the sketch came about, Frank admitted it wasn't actually his idea.

He explained: "I think the idea came from the palace. Paddington embodies so many of the values that she stood for. Paddington is all about kindness, tolerance, being kind to strangers and politeness. Things that are about character.

"Those are the values she's embodied throughout her life and it's why we're feeling so sad today. They're not values that are uncontested so it wasn't purely a cute thing to do. It was significant I think and that's why it's resonated so much."

During the sketch, which was a surprise to the nation and the wider Royal Family alike, the Queen enjoys a cup of tea with Paddington Bear, a fictional character created by British author Michael Bond.

In the two and half minute sketch, the pair chat politely and reveal to each other where they prefer to keep their stash of marmalade sandwiches (Paddington – in his hat, the Queen – in her handbag).

The sketch ends with Her Majesty tapping her tea cup to the intro of the band Queen's hot record, We Will Rock You.

Frank went on to say: "In those script meetings I was adamant we shouldn't have the Queen tapping her cup. I said 'she'll never pull that off, it's too much to ask', see if there's another line you can get out on."

He adds: "She pulled it off brilliantly. It's amazing. She's absolutely glowing in that moment. And you've got to remember that was real acting that's going on there, Paddington isn't really in the room.

"She's acting with an eye-line and with someone pretending to be Paddington."

At the end of the sketch in a poignant moment Paddington tips his hat and says to the Queen: "Happy Jubilee, Ma'am. And thank you. For everything."

The Queen replies with a warm smile: "That's very kind."

Director Frank concluded: "I think that was true happiness. She was someone who was approaching the end of her life. She knew she was. And this is a sign off, isn't it?"

Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral yesterday (8 September), where she traditionally spends August to October each year.

Her coffin has been placed in the ballroom of Balmoral Castle, a place close to her heart where she once danced as a young princess.

Draped in the Royal Standard, the coffin will remain in Balmoral for two days so household staff can pay their respects, before the Queen begins her final journey back to London.

Balmoral was a favourite home of the queen, whose affection for the Scottish Highlands has been well documented, and the ballroom itself held a special place in her heart.

It’s this very ballroom where she danced at the young age of 12 as a young princess at the Ghillies Ball, an annual dance that is held at Balmoral for the staff.

She has been succeed by her eldest son, who takes up the role as King Charles III with his Queen Consort, Camilla, by his side.


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