The Brit List: Summer of London – The Royal Summer
10. The Royals and the Olympics
As if the whole Jubilee isn’t enough excitement for an 86-year-old queen, she’s got the Olympics to prepare for as well. But, as with the Jubilee, she’s going to get lots of help from the family.
“The Queen is going to open the games,” explains People’s Simon Perry, “and we expect the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be there too. As, hopefully, will Prince Harry, who, like them, is an ambassador to Team GB.”
Perry also imagines that we’ll see all the members of the royal family visiting British Olympians as they train or prepare for the games.
One member of the royal family, Zara Phillips, is still hoping to compete in the Olympics herself. The Queen’s granddaughter is a former world equestrian champion and is still angling to be chosen for Britain’s five-person team this year.
In the meantime, she carried the Olympic torch last week, while riding her horse around the Cheltenham racecourse, to strains of the theme music from the movie Chariots of Fire.
Several days earlier, Zara’s mother, Princess Anne, brought the Olympic flame to Britain from Athens.
The royal family will once again receive the flame when the torch arrives at Buckingham Palace on July 26, the day before the opening ceremonies.
Recently, Prince William and his wife Catherine attended a dinner in honor of Britain’s Olympic athletes. In a speech, William said that London should take “huge pride” being the only city ever to host the Olympics three times.
“We will witness an exceptional moment in our island history,” he said. “The mood in London will be electric, ecstatic and amazing. I simply can’t wait.”
Then he went on to make several self-deprecating jokes about his own athletic prowess, as well as joking about his brother Harry’s “race” with Usain Bolt.
The Queen and the rest of the royal family may get some help in hosting the games from Britain’s most famous fictional hero.
Earlier this month, the London Evening Standard reported that Daniel Craig, who’s starring in Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, was at Buckingham Palace with Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, who also happens to be the artistic director for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Judi Dench, who plays Bond’s boss, M, was also said to be there.
The Standard said that Bond (not Craig) had been knighted in a short film shot for the opening ceremony, a film in which he is given the mission to open the Games. The paper suggested that Bond might parachute into the stadium, and in a subsequent article, floated the idea that Bond might accompany the Queen in a helicopter in the same short film.
“James Bond has always had a string of young females as his sidekicks,” wrote the Standard. “But never has Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accompanied him on a mission.”
Bond fans immediately started debating whether 007 would accept a knighthood, but the whole plan sounds like a view to an overkill, and, frankly, we hope the Standard got the story wrong. Even if the idea hadn’t been leaked in advance, it sounds like one of those kitschy Oscar sketches that just don’t quite work. If Craig/Bond is on Her Majesty’s secret service, let’s hope it’s on another mission.
Coming next week – how the Summer of London is impacting the world of MOVIES.
What are you most looking forward to this Royal Summer?