Iconic composer John Williams and former Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger were selected by the late Queen Elizabeth II Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire honors before her death. According to Variety, the U.K. government disclosed the list of those Queen Elizabeth II had chosen for honors with Iger cited for "services to the UK/US relations" and Williams cited for years of "services to film music." The award is the second-highest rank in the order and is given only to non-U.K. citizens.
"These last few weeks we have been reminded of the extraordinary life and service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It is truly special and one of the great honors of my life to have the honorary Knight of the British Empire conferred on me by her before she passed," Iger said in a statement. "Our two nations share a strong bond, which I have seen up close over many years through my deep personal and professional connections to the United Kingdom. I have great affection for the people of the UK and have always appreciated and been inspired by their extraordinary contributions, particularly in the creative arts."
Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, September 8th at the age of 96. The Queen began her reign at the age of 25 and her 70-year rule is the longest in British history. The Queen had just celebrated her historic Platinum Jubilee back in June, a celebration that in part included a short film featuring the Queen and the iconic Paddington Bear.
"Her Majesty is well known for her sense of humour, so it should be no surprise that she decided to take part in tonight's sketch," Buckingham Palace said in a statement. "There was an interest in the filming and animation process and the opportunity to invite a famous bear to tea was just too much fun to miss. While The Queen may not be attending the concert in person, she was very keen that people understood how much it meant to her and that all those watching had a great time."
"Filming Her Majesty's tea party with Paddington Bear was such an emotional day for the entire crew," Rosie Alison of Heyday Films added. "All of us were in awe of the Queen's wit, warmth and radiant aura as she patiently engaged with a polite, clumsy but very well-intentioned bear. Of course, she shone, and put Paddington (and all of us) at ease. Capturing this lovely encounter was an absolute joy and unique privilege for the whole team. In Paddington's words, 'Happy Jubilee Ma'am. And thank you. For everything'."