How That Paddington Bear Sketch With Queen Elizabeth Nearly Fell Apart
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The famous Paddington Bear sketch, which made the fictional bear synonymous with Queen Elizabeth II, after she appeared alongside the character in a skit for the Platinum Jubilee, very nearly didn’t happen.
The revelation was made by the writer and actor Simon Farnaby, who has lifted the lid on a fraught day of filming that ultimately lead to of the sketch. The trouble revolved around a key section of the sketch where Paddington told the queen he keeps his marmalade sandwiches in his hat “for emergencies.”
The queen then responded, “I keep mine in here,” and produced her famous purse. But Farnaby said in a podcast with fellow comedian Richard Herring, The Times reported, that over multiple takes the queen’s tone was too harsh and the sketch was not working. “The director would come in and say, ‘Ma’am, could you just be a bit gentler,’” Farnaby said. “And she’d be so sweet and she’d go, ‘I’m so sorry, yes of course.’ He’d go, ‘Like you’re talking to your grandchildren.’ She’d say, ‘Oh, of course. I’m so sorry.’”
As the shoots for the line went on, Farnaby began to abandon hope the sketch was going to work. “I was saying to him, ‘Give up, just stop, we’re not going to get it. And he said, ‘No, I think just a couple more.’”
Farnaby said that eventually the queen, although now very tired, got the line right and they triumphantly wrapped the royal shoot.
There was, however then a surreal turn of events: “I needlessly just went up to her [afterwards] and said ‘Ma’am, that was fantastic,’ and she went, ‘Oh thank you.’” He told her: “You’re a very good actress,” to which she replied: “Well, I do it all the time.”
A Paddington Bear toy is placed among floral tributes at the Sandringham Estate, following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in eastern England, Britain, September 13, 2022.
Farnaby recalled: “I went ‘Ooh, you mean like playing the part of the queen?’ And she went ‘I beg your pardon?’ And then I lost all my confidence. I thought she was giving me the scoop, like it’s a part, a role. And I went, ‘I mean like it’s a role, isn’t it, the queen, and you play it.’”
However, the queen turned sternly on him and said: “You know I am the queen? Paddington’s not real, they are actors but I’m the queen. I meant at Christmas, when I do my speeches, but then it’s all written down and now I have to remember it, and I find it quite hard.’”
After she died, many Paddington Bears were left in memory of the queen at the gates of her properties.
When Princess Margaret and Eddie Fisher had “explosive sex”
In 2016 Carrie Fisher told British chat show host Jonathan Ross that her father Eddie Fisher had had sex with Princess Margaret.
Now, one of his ex-wives, Terry Richard, has elaborated on the assignation in an interview with the Mail on Sunday. It allegedly took place in May 1953, when Margaret was already secretly engaged to Group Captain Peter Townsend; the marriage never happened because he was divorced. A month after she and Fisher did the deed, she was attending her sister Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation—her train held by lady-in-waiting Iris Peake, who snuck Fisher into her bedchamber, and who reportedly had sex with Fisher too!
Richard told the Mail: “Eddie never talked about Princess Margaret in public, he respected her too much, but he told me about their encounter many, many times during our marriage. He looked back on it with great affection. Eddie was smitten with her the first time he saw her. He told me she was tiny with the most beautiful piercing blue eyes. He sang for 45 minutes at the ball and directed all his love songs straight at Margaret. When Eddie turned on the charm, he really turned it on.”
Margaret sent a car to pick up Fisher after they met at an event. Terry said: “Eddie remembered tiny details, even years later. He said the stair railings had beautiful crosses in the ironwork and Margaret met him at the door wearing a see-through negligee with lace embellishments. The bedroom smelled of cigarettes and expensive perfume. He told me the sex was explosive. Margaret wasn’t a virgin. She was uninhibited in bed. It went on for ages and they were both satisfied, multiple times. Eddie told me they ‘fit perfectly,’ and she cried out ‘Eddie! Oh Eddie!’ over and over…After the sex they both drank double whiskies and laughed and joked around.”
How Princess Eugenie fights back against haters
Princess Eugenie posts on social media to counter her portrayal in the media. Speaking about her work for the Anti-Slavery Collective, she told the White Wine Question Time podcast, per the Telegraph: “I want people to know me because I think there has been so much misinformation and it’s so easy to judge something when you read it in the paper. Or, if you see a picture or a terrifyingly ugly photo of us coming out of a bar … The action shots that some people get [are] not the nicest of photos. I have people come up to me sometimes and say: ‘Oh, you are much better looking in real life.’ Is that a compliment? I don’t know.”
Per the Mail, she added: “I do my own Instagram and I find it the most stressful thing in the world. Before I post, I text about five people to ask if it’s ok, am I going to get trolled? I don’t want to over post my children or family life, Im constantly finding a balance.”
Eugenie also revealed she is close to the artist Tracey Emin, and calls her “Aunty Tracey.” Eugenie said she became friends with Tracey Emin when they were both, “English women living in New York.”
She said: “She became Aunty Tracey because we would hang out in New York not really knowing anyone. I did art history at school, and read about her…Most of the time it would be going to her apartment, having dinner, chatting about her art. We’d have brunch in New York. She’s such a lovely person…she’s such a remarkable woman.”
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Charles to tackle food waste
King Charles will mark his 75th birthday next month by launching a new anti-food waste initiative. The Sunday Times reports that he will use his birthday to launch the Coronation Food Project to which he has made a “substantial” personal donation. The five-year program aims to radically reduce waste and, The Sunday Times says: “It will be the King’s first significant project as monarch.”
Happy ever after
A delightful story has emerged from the 18th birthday celebrations of Crown Prince Christian of Denmark, after a golden slipper was found abandoned at the party the next day, in the best fairy-tale tradition.
The Times reports that the Danish royal family posted on Instagram asking: “Is it Cinderella who forgot her shoe last night? The owner is welcome to contact us to get it back.” The shoe’s owner was soon identified as 18-year-old student Anne-Sofie Tørnsø Olesen, who had been photographed entering the party wearing them.
Prince Christian gives a speech during his 18th birthday celebration at Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 15, 2023.
Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix/via Reuters
She said she had left the shoe behind deliberately, not such an easy task as one might imagine. The Times, citing Danish television TV2, said that when she “lost” the shoe the first time, someone returned it to her, so she dropped it a second time and, in true Cinderella style, “hurried to leave so that no one could stop me.”
She told Ekstra Bladet, a Danish newspaper: “I am single. I don’t have a boyfriend. But that’s not why I did it. It’s not that I thought I’d marry him, but I hoped that people would find it funny.”
This week in royal history
On October 24, 1537 Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife, died from childbirth complications at Hampton Court Palace, Richmond.
Are Harry and Meghan really about to team up with Kardashians? After food waste, where will Charles turn his campaigning energies next?
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