While many influential members of Britain’s royal family were present in the 60,000-strong audience at London’s Olympic stadium on Friday, most would agree it was the Queen who took center stage at Danny Boyle‘s 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony creation: “Isles of Wonder”.
The Queen’s entrance into the Olympic Stadium came directly after her film debut— in which she is picked up from Buckingham Palace via helicopter by famous British spy character icon James Bond (Daniel Craig)— and a likeness of her then parachutes into the event.
“Queen Elizabeth’s virtuoso performance as the ‘Bond girl’ star of the Olympic opening ceremony crowns a majestic 15-year special operation that has recast the monarch as the people’s champion of a cool Britannia,” Reuters (London) points out.
“The central theme of the strategy,” Reuters (London) reports, “has been to undermine the criticism that the monarchy are a stuffy relic of the past by linking them with popular British culture and casting stunts that accentuate the playful side of the royal character.”
The Queen’s entrance raised eyebrows, but not in a negative sense; in fact, people were pleasantly surprised to see Her Majesty’s humorous side emerge.
“The queen was the star of the show – she was bloody wonderful,” said a Scottish soldier serving at the Olympics to Reuters (London). “She was the best bit,” he said. “I think it shows the people another side to her. I think the people love her but since the Jubilee and after this a lot of people see just what a wonderful queen she is.”
Simon Lewis, Communications Secretary to the Queen from 1998 to 2000, also spoke to Reuters, saying: “There was a lightness of touch about what the queen did at the Olympics – it was absolutely right.”
“It was perfectly judged and completely fitting for the occasion. The monarchy in 2012 is the product of a great deal of careful thinking over a long time and some quite sensible, small steps along the way.”