Queen tours Olympic Park as encore
LONDON — Fresh from her star turn as the latest Bond Girl, Queen Elizabeth II returned to Olympic Park for an encore Saturday, while the usually biting British press gave a resounding review: We are amused.
The queen visited with fawning British Olympians in the athletes village and rode to the top of the 377-foot Orbit tower beside the stadium, where on Friday night she officially opened the 2012 Games. Her husband, Prince Philip, and London Mayor Boris Johnson accompanied her.
Dressed in a royal blue silk dress, crepe coat and matching hat, the queen could be heard remarking at the views of the London skyline and countryside. She wore a brooch given to her in 1948 — the last time London hosted the Olympics.
In describing her role in the opening ceremony, created by director Danny Boyle, Johnson said the queen had told him she was “very, very impressed with the success of her first film appearance, her first dramatic venture. It was very funny and seems to have gone down particularly well with the international audiences.”
And, it seems, with the British media.
The Guardian called the queen’s appearance “one of the highlights of Danny Boyle’s tumultuously inventive opening ceremony of the 2012 Games. ... Now, thanks to Boyle, we really have seen everything.”
“I was worried that there was too much self-parody, that the world might be laughing at us,” wrote columnist Giles Coren in The Times of London. “But they were laughing with us. They were silently awed.”
The show-stopping moment featured the queen making her acting debut alongside Daniel Craig, who portrayed James Bond in a film beamed into the stadium.
The queen offered more surprises Saturday as she met about 150 members of the British Olympic team. Spectators took in the scene from balconies draped in Union Jack flags.
“For her to come through and meet the athletes, and see where we’re living, it was amazing,” said Rose Anderson, 24, a member of the women’s basketball team.
“She went inside one of the athletes’ bedrooms and chatted to us. It was just awesome, especially after last night,” she said. “Last night will never be topped. I’ll never get an experience like that again, and then this will never be topped either.”
The queen also met athletes from other nations in the dining hall.