Queen Elizabeth’s Sweetest Moment Was Quiet, Unexpected and Perfectly Defined Her
Queen Elizabeth II made an indelible mark on Great Britain and the world. However, the monarch didn’t always maintain a signature “stiff upper lip,” as her tea with Paddington Bear demonstrated.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Sept. 8, 2022 at age 96, having served as England’s longest-reigning monarch. In those 70 years and 214 days, the Queen helped to guide Great Britain, and the Royal Family, through tumultuous times. Famed for her British restraint — the “stiff upper lip” — she was also known to have a sly sense of humor. That was perhaps no better demonstrated than when Queen Elizabeth sat down with Paddington Bear for tea.
The British tradition went about as well as one could expect, considering the nature of the beloved children’s book character. However, it also presented an adorable moment that put on full display Queen Elizabeth’s warmth, humor … and respectable acting chops.
Queen Elizabeth Had Tea With Paddington Bear
Among Queen Elizabeth’s final — and certainly most memorable — TV appearances was a short film produced for her June 2022 Platinum Jubilee. In the two-and-a-half-minute skit, she met another British icon, Paddington Bear, for tea at Windsor Castle.
Paddington drank all the tea straight from the spout — how rude! — but made the Queen chuckle when he wobbled in his chair and caught his balance by squishing a plate of cakes. He then sheepishly offered her his emergency marmalade sandwich from his hat. However, Elizabeth admitted she already had her own emergency marmalade sandwich — thereby solving the mystery of what the Queen kept in her ever-present handbag.
It’s always good to be prepared with an emergency marmalade sandwich. Just saying.
Paddington then wished the Queen a happy Jubilee celebration. They listened to the drums outside beating Queen’s iconic 1977 song “We Will Rock You.” The Queen showed her characteristic refined, but sly, humor by tapping along with her teaspoon on the cups. Paddington delightedly followed suit.
It’s an undeniably sweet moment that will, no doubt, gain a new appreciation in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s passing.
Elizabeth Also Teamed Up With Daniel Craig’s James Bond
However, Paddington certainly isn’t the only British icon with whom Queen Elizabeth teamed for a special event. In 2012, she made a similar appearance with Daniel Craig as James Bond in a promotional short for the Summer Olympics in London.
In “The Queen and James Bond,” 007 arrives at Buckingham Palace to meet with the Queen. He’s shown into a room where the Queen is writing a letter, and must clear his throat to draw her attention. She then stands, and politely says, “Good evening, Mr. Bond.” Classic.
Bond returns her smile, and escorts the Queen with her beloved, scene-stealing Welsh Corgis through the halls to a waiting helicopter. The Corgis see them off as the helicopter lifts into the air. Everywhere they go, people wave at the sky, and the Queen waves back. They reach the stadium. and suddenly it’s dark. Bond looks around for an escape route – and then they jump from the helicopter wearing matching Union Jack parachutes. The crowd goes wild.
The camera doesn’t show their descent, but we can only imagine she was eating a marmalade sandwich on the way down.
Queen Elizabeth II As a Pop-Culture Icon
Across the world, the Queen was a recognizable figure from decades of pop culture references. Many depictions were affectionate, while others were … not. She “appeared” in music and art, and on television show. Andy Warhol included her image in a 1985 series about queens, and the Sex Pistols featured her image on their 1977 single, “God Save the Queen.”
Actress Jeannette Charles regularly portrayed Queen Elizabeth in film and on television, from National Lampoon’s European Vacation to The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! to Austin Powers in Goldmember. The Queen even popped up several times in The Simpsons. And The Crown, the historical drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, continues to grip viewers worldwide.