Sebastian Coe: 'People genuinely believe the Queen jumped from a helicopter at the Olympics'

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·4-min read

Watch: James Bond collects the Queen ahead of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony

Sebastian Coe, the former athlete who was chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, says people still think the Queen really jumped out of a helicopter during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony.

Talking to Huw Edwards on the BBC's coverage of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, Coe was asked about the iconic sketch that featured Daniel Craig as James Bond accompanying the monarch to the games.

The sketch ended with both seemingly leaping from a helicopter and landing in the stadium.

"There isn't a day that goes by that there isn't somebody somewhere in the world asking me about this," Coe said.

Read more: Richard E Grant pays tribute to King Charles

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: Queen Elizabeth II and  Lord Sebastian Coe await the arrival of the Olympic Torch at Windsor Castle on day 53 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on July 10, 2012 in Windsor, England. The Olympic Flame is now on day 53 of a 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles.  (Photo by David Bebber - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Sebastian Coe await the arrival of the Olympic Torch at Windsor Castle in 2012. (Getty)

"A whole heap of people still believe that she actually did jump from that helicopter, genuinely."

Coe said he felt 'the globe wobbling' when Boyle pitched the audacious idea, but it was the 'great republican' director who managed to convince Her Majesty to take part in the skit.

The parachutist who doubled for the Queen was Gary Connery (no relation to Sir Sean Connery, the first movie James Bond), who wore a gown, handbag and wig to perform the stunt.

Read more: Stars who queued to see The Queen

The Queen appeared in a skit at the 2012 Olympics in which she seemed to parachute into the London stadium. (AFP/Getty)
The Queen appeared in a skit at the 2012 Olympics in which she seemed to parachute into the London stadium. (Getty)

Coe added that he first pitched the idea to the Queen's daughter Princess Anne when he ran her through the concept for the opening ceremony.

Rather than questioning the decision for the Queen to film the skit, he says the Princess Royal's only question was about what kind of helicopter they might use for the stunt.

"She knew everything about helicopters," Coe added.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) and Prime Minister David Cameron (L) chat with Britain's Princess Anne as they arrive on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London, for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games . 
 AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOHN STILLWELL        (Photo credit should read JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/GettyImages)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) and Prime Minister David Cameron (L) chat with Britain's Princess Anne as they arrive on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London. (Getty)

"Of all the questions I thought I'd get! But that's how it started, and [The Queen] entered into the spirit of it."

"It will always be the iconic moment from the ceremony."

Speaking after the Queen's death, James Bond star Daniel Craig described filming the scene with the Queen for London 2012 as “an incredible thing”.

Sebastian Coe has reflected on the moment Gary Connery and Mark Sutton parachute into the stadium as Daniel Craig and The Queen during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Sebastian Coe has reflected on the moment Gary Connery and Mark Sutton parachute into the stadium as Daniel Craig and The Queen during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Getty)

Reflecting on his time filming with the Queen, 54-year-old Craig told the BBC at the Toronto International Film Festival: “What an incredible thing.

“We will not see the likes of her ever again. To be alive during her reign is something else.”

Queen Elizabeth II meets actor Daniel Craig,bowing in respect for protocol, at the premiere of the 21st Bond film 'Casino Royale' at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square. (Photo by © Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II meets actor Daniel Craig at the premiere of the 21st Bond film Casino Royale in 2006. (Getty)

He added: “(I’m) very saddened, so I suppose good luck to Charles, really.”

On an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this year, Craig revealed that the Queen had made a joke at his expense, and said she was “very funny, wants to crack a joke, and crack a joke about me”.

Craig added: “We were having our photograph taken, and she just went, ‘Oh no, he’s the one that doesn’t smile.’”

The Queen shared afternoon tea with Paddington Bear in a sketch for the Platinum Jubilee. (YouTube/The Royal Family)
The Queen shared afternoon tea with Paddington Bear in a sketch for the Platinum Jubilee. (YouTube/The Royal Family)

Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who co-wrote the Queen’s TV appearances with Paddington Bear and Daniel Craig, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the Queen had volunteered herself for the Bond scene.

He said: “We went to the Palace asking for permission to represent her and to know what she was wearing on the day, and it was her amazing dresser who said ‘No, no, she wants to be in it.’ She was game and she was up for that.

“In fact on the day when we were filming, she asked Danny Boyle if she could have a line because there wasn’t a line in the script, probably because when I was typing the script I didn’t quite know how you would type the character of the Queen… What would you type?”

Watch: Daniel Craig reveals the joke the Queen made at his expense