LOS ANGELES – Queen Elizabeth II became an unofficial Bond girl over the weekend after parachuting out of a helicopter with Daniel Craig during the lavish opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Well, not really. It was all a bit of movie trickery. But the real-life queen did take part in a scene full of drama and action alongside Craig, who escorted her from Buckingham Palace in classic, tuxedo-clad style in character as James Bond.
Queen Elizabeth II has been portrayed only a few times in major films, but they’ve been indelible.
The Queen (2006): Helen Mirren was positively withering in a performance that earned her a well-deserved Academy Award for best actress. Mirren gave a subtle, stinging and eventually sympathetic portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II.
The King’s Speech (2010): The winner of four Oscars including best picture features Queen Elizabeth II as a little girl, when she was still a princess and went by the nickname Lilibet. The film shows the future queen (portrayed by Freya Wilson), the daughter of King George VI (Oscar-winner Colin Firth), in a few glimpses at home during the 1930s. Britain is about to enter World War II and Bertie, as the king was known, is about to give the biggest speech of his life. The presence of Elizabeth and her sister helps humanize Bertie and gives him strength during the challenging time.
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988): Queen Elizabeth II is the target of an assassination attempt, and the intrepid Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) must foil this deadly plot at a baseball game. The Queen (played by Jeannette Charles) enjoys American culture by throwing out the first pitch and even taking part in The Wave.
Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002): Jeannette Charles’ resemblance to Elizabeth II has allowed her to carve out an unexpected niche career as an actress: She’s played the monarch repeatedly over the past four decades. Besides the first Naked Gun movie, Charles also played the queen in the third and final Austin Powers movie. To reward Austin for finally nabbing Dr. Evil and Mini-Me, the queen makes him a knight.
National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985): Here’s Charles again in this slapsticky, inferior sequel to the 1983 hit National Lampoon’s Vacation. Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) imagines greater things for the family during a dream sequence in which a bored, yawning Queen Elizabeth II suddenly brightens up when she sees her and Clark (Chevy Chase) in a reception line.