007 met the future King of England recently. The Pinewood Studios set of the new James Bond adventure received a very special visit on Thursday, 22nd June, when HRH Prince Charles was invited to meet 007 star Daniel Craig and B25 director Cary Fukunaga, along with ‘M’ (Ralph Fiennes) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris).
The Prince, who is patron of the British Film Institute and also Royal patron of the real-life British intelligence services, was also able to spend several minutes and swap notes with Daniel about their shared love of Aston Martins. Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, who was also present for the special visit, told the press: ‘He had a lot to talk about with Daniel. They both have a love for Aston Martin… Boys with toys!’
Charles also posed with Daniel in front of a classic Aston Martin DB5 (the iconic model first seen in Goldfinger) and a 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage (as used in The Living Daylights), and commented: ‘The cars are the interesting thing here – much more interesting’. There were eight DB5s present, and Craig explained to the Prince that, while six of them are stunt cars, two of them were ‘pod cars’ – adapted so that while an actor can sit in the driving seat and appear to drive the vehicle, it is actually being driven by a stunt driver sitting in a pod above the car. Interestingly, Craig sported a couple of cuts to his face, but this was thought to be make-up for his role as 007.
The Prince was also able to meet and share jokes with Naomie Harris and Ralph Fiennes on the set of M’s office, along with director Fukunaga. An eye-catching oil painting of former ‘M’ (Dame Judi Dench) could be seen hanging on the office wall behind them.
At one point, when Charles talked about Fiennes’s appearances as Voldemort in the Harry Potter films, Craig quickly joked: ‘That’s the real Ralph Fiennes!’
According to reports, after he was shown some rushes from a scene already shot, the Prince was then taken to view the set of Q’s workshop, and also met members of the crew. Strict secrecy surrounding B25, however, meant that the press were excluded from these parts of the Royal visit.
All in all, the Prince’s visit to Pinewood was a great success and a definite publicity boost for B25, which has been given a bit of a rough time recently through some unfair and negative coverage by British journalists. The Prince appeared to thoroughly enjoy his visit. And he certainly dressed for the occasion: perhaps in a nod to the Jamaican sequences in B25, Charles wore a tie covered in speedboats and palm trees.
Did You Know?
Prince Charles, along with his then-wife Lady Diana, was invited by the late Bond producer Cubby Broccoli to visit Pinewood Studios during the making of The Living Daylights, where he met the-then Bond star Timothy Dalton and also actor Jerome Krabbe (who played Georgi Koskov in the movie). After chatting to stunt specialists, Lady Diana was also invited to break a sugar-glass stunt bottle over her husband’s head, which made a great photo for the media at the time.