Tuesday November 30th 2010
Tonight I had a movie date with a Queen sorry it was “the Queen” HMQ Elizabeth II.
It was the Royal premiere of Fox Pictures “NARNIA – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”.
I was on assignment for Eye on the Bay’s Holiday Movie special.
Leicester Square’s Odeon Theatre, London was the venue for this royal red carpet event on one of the coldest days in London in some twenty years (- 2 with a north easterly wind chill)!!
Real snow pelted down almost on cue upon the arrival of the NARNIA cast walking the red carpet. Handlers darted around for umbrellas to protect the perfectly coiffed hair of the stars.
No need for the fake snow then!!!
HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH & HRH PRINCE PHILIP were in attendance and arrived in a the Royal Rolls Royce with all the pomp & ceremony & punctuality, fitting only of a royal engagement.
We (press) were sitting within eyeshot of HMQ & HRH: in the stalls below, the Royals above in the Gods!!
There was a respectful hush, an immediate quiet as the royal party reached their balcony seats after walking the line and meeting the cast and film makers.
Then an organist on a mighty wulitzer suddenly appeared from a hole in the floor and with five musicians playing brass, gave us a beautiful rendition of the British National anthem.
The Queen & HRH joined me, the Narnia cast and 1200 near and dear friends for the 3D C.S. Lewis book to screen spectacle- and YES – HMQ was indeed wearing 3D specs, a sight indeed. A handbag not a bag of popcorn was at her side.
It was so exciting and indeed incredibly thrilling to see my monarch, HMQ for the very first time in the flesh (well in a lovely gold toned dress) and in 3D glasses- a first for HMQ we were told.
Actor Liam Neeson told me on the red carpet before the screening : “It’s always grand to meet her. Everyone is given a royal 101 on how to greet her Majesty: A half bow, not a whole one. She asks the questions , you do not. And you cup her hand lightly with minimal if no pressure.” Neeson told me. (He is the voice of the lion Aslan in NARNIA)!
Director Michael Apted told me.
“We have real snow, a real Queen and a good movie here tonight. What more could we ask for”?
The most impressive thing about my movie date with HMQ?
She remained in her seat until every last credit rolled on screen. A mark of royal respect to the actors and film makers who sat around her.
Everyone (almost) remained in their seats until the Queen left the building. There was a collective “how bloody cool was that?” whispered by royalists and even those not as the royal party took off into the chilly night.
“I went to the movies with Queen Elizabeth”. That’s my story and I am sticking to it and shall share it with pals for the remainder of my days. What a right royal and terribly special treat.
Perhaps on our next movie date we may actually meet and over popcorn discuss the film after? That day may never come but this day did and I am just ever so incredibly grateful for it!!!
Her Royal Subject
P.S. My best pal Nick went too. Thanks Nick.