After 40 years of service, James Bond finally got to meet his boss, the Queen of England, on November 18, 2002. The Royal Premire of Die Another Day took place at London's Royal Albert Hall and was attended by Her Majesty as well as the cast of the film and numerous other celebrities and guests.
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Associated Press Coverage
Queen Elizabeth II joins Hollywood stars at premier of latest James Bond film
Mon Nov 18, 5:00 PM ET
By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer
LONDON - The world premier of the 20th James Bond film lit up central London on Monday night, with two firsts at such events: Queen Elizabeth II (news - web sites) joined the superstars, and the venue was Royal Albert Hall.
Large crowds gathered outside the London landmark to watch the "Die Another Day" actors show up, including Pierce Brosnan, the suave 007; his new lady, Oscar winner Halle Berry; and Madonna (news - web sites), who sings the movie's theme tune and plays the cameo role of fencing instructor Verity.
The queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, joined the flashy event because the movie was chosen as the Royal Film Performance to aid the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund.
Introduced to Brosnan, the queen said: "So you're the modern James Bond are you? I've met the other three downstairs."
She was referring to George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Sir Roger Moore. Sir Sean Connery, the very first of the Bonds, was the only one who didn't show up.
Brosnan, 49 — on his fourth outing as the secret agent — said he loves playing the part. "He's confident, he has style, he has a license to kill, and he has a wonderful way with women. From a male perspective you can't beat him," he said.
A bevy of former Bond girls also attended the premiere, including Maud Adams and Fiona Fullerton.
Berry, wearing a black-and-white Oscar de la Renta gown, said she was delighted to play Bond's latest girl, Jinx. But she also noted that unlike her predecessors, Jinx is a secret agent herself and more than a match for Brosnan's 007.
"Jinx is Bond's equal," she said. "Say what you want about Bond girls, and I know people do criticize them, but the women in these films have a great allure and people want to see them."
Madonna, who arrived with her husband Guy Ritchie, was dressed conservatively in a knee-length black cocktail dress and took the time to make sure she knew how to greet the queen.
Madonna practiced her curtsey in front of co-star John Cleese, and afterward said: "The queen asked me about Bond. I have never met her before, but surprisingly I wasn't nervous."
Royal Albert Hall was transformed into a glittering ice palace for the evening, similar to the lair of the latest Bond villain, Gustav Graves, played by Toby Stephens, the son of veteran actress Dame Maggie Smith.
"I've been watching Bond films since I was six years old, so getting to be in one was quite bizarre," said Stephens.
Grandstands were set up around the red-carpeted entrance so the large crowds of fans could watch the stars arrive. People standing further away could watch the event unfold on large, stadium-style movie screens.
Other stars at the premiere included Rosamund Pike, the 22-year-old Oxford University graduate who plays Miranda Frost; and Richard Kiel, who portrays one of 007's most famous enemies, Jaws.
"Die Another Day" is a milestone for Bond, being the 20th film in the series and marking the franchise's 40th anniversary.
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were honored that it had been chosen as the annual Royal Film Performance.
"James Bond is the epitome of all things British," they said in a statement. "We have enjoyed making the films in England and having the opportunity to work with such brilliant technicians and artists.
"We are incredibly proud that this event will be held at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of such a worthy benefit for the British film community."
|Die Another Day
All of my thoughts on every aspect of the film.
Photos and bios of the main characters.
All about the gadgets used in the film
An evaluation of how DAD follows the Bond formula
Talk about the movie on the message board
A gallery of all DAD movie posters
All DAD news from start to finish
A review of the DAD soundtrack
Photo and news coverage of the Royal Premire
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