Earlier this year, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee (which marked the 70th anniversary of her ascent to the throne), an original short film featuring the Queen and Paddington Bear premiered on the BBC, a collaboration of the BBC, Heyday Films, and Buckingham Palace. The short was written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, who also penned a cameo for Elizabeth at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony with Daniel Craig, and he had nothing but praise for the monarch, who he said had "brilliant" comic timing. Her death on Thursday marked the end of the longest-running monarch on the planet.
In the short, Paddington and the Queen meet for tea and discuss their mutual love for marmalade sandwiches, with Elizabeth II joking that she keeps hers in her handbag. Naturally some mischief occurs as well and, as the trade puts it, the scene concludes with Paddington and Queen Elizabeth II "using a spoon to tap out the beat of Queen's We Will Rock You anthem on a China teacup."
"She's absolutely glowing in that moment," Boyce said during a BBC broadcast today. "And you've got to remember that that's 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. That's proper acting going on. But I also think it's true happiness."
"Filming Her Majesty's tea party with Paddington Bear was such an emotional day for the entire crew," Rosie Alison of Heyday Films said at the time of the production. "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'."
Elizabeth's reign began when she was 25, making her the second-longest ruling monarch in documented history behind France's Louis XIV. The daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth II married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, in 1947. Philip never became king, but would be married to the queen for 73 years, until his death in 2021. He and Elizabeth had four children together: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.