Later today it will be Tokyo’s turn to welcome the world and officially start the Olympic Games in a spectacular opening ceremony.
It comes nine years after London hosted the games and put on a breathtaking opener directed by Danny Boyle.
For many, the highlight of the 2012 ceremony was the Queen’s surprise appearance in a James Bond spoof sketch alongside Daniel Craig.
In it, Bond is seen arriving at Buckingham Palace and is escorted to Her Majesty, who is sitting writing at her desk.
She greets him by saying “Good evening Mr Bond” and the pair walk through the palace corridors alongside the corgis to a waiting helicopter.
They then fly across London to the Olympic Park, where the Queen appears to ‘parachute’ out of the helicopter onto the ground below.
Moments after she walks out into the stadium to take her seat alongside Prince Philip to rapturous applause.
Very few people knew in advance about the part the Queen would play in the opening ceremony – not even some of her family members, reports the Express.
And in his autobiography Running My Life, Lord Coe chairman of the London Olympics organising committee, revealed that when they saw the Queen seemingly leap out of the helicopter, Princes William and Harry both shouted “Go, Granny!”.
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Lord Coe said that he sat next to Prince Charles for the opening ceremony with William and Harry sat in the row behind.
He explained that none of the princes knew of the Queen’s involvement in the film but began to wonder what was going on when they recognised the palace backdrop.
Lord Coe wrote: “When the film cut to the shot of the royal back, he [Prince Charles] had exactly the same reaction as everyone else – which was to assume it was the lady who does the impersonations.
“But the moment she turned around and everyone realised, My God, it really is the Queen, he began roaring with laughter.
“As for his sons, they were beside themselves. As she started her descent two voices shouted out in unison behind me, ‘Go, Granny!’”
It also came to light that the Queen was keen on a speaking part when she was asked to play her role in the film and insisted on saying “good evening Mr Bond”.
It was revealed by the Queen’s dressmaker and confidante, Angela Kelly, in her book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.
She wrote: “There are few occasions on which Her Majesty will agree to break protocol, but in 2011 when film director Danny Boyle approached the Royal Household, he had a request to make that we simply could not refuse.
“She was very amused by the idea and agreed immediately. I asked then if she would like a speaking part. Without hesitation, Her Majesty replied: ‘Of course I must say something. After all, he is coming to rescue me’.”
Angela said she asked the Queen if she would like to say: “Good evening, James”, or “Good evening, Mr Bond”, with the monarch choosing the latter.
She said: “Within minutes, I was back in Edward’s office delivering the good news to Danny – I think he almost fell off his chair when I said that the Queen’s only stipulation was that she could deliver that iconic line: ‘Good evening, Mr Bond’.”