‘It seems that the Queen has managed to do,’ says The Telegraph, ‘what Blofeld, Le Chiffre and Dr No never could: bring James Bond to his knees. Insiders at Buckingham Palace report that she has taken part in a film to be broadcast during the Olympics opening, in which she is seen bestowing a knighthood on Bond, as portrayed by Daniel Craig.
‘I do hope that they are wrong and that the Queen is doing something else in the film, perhaps being whisked to safety by Bond after Auric Goldfinger tries to set about her with his laser (“Choose your next witticism carefully, your Majesty, it may be your last!”) I don’t want to see Bond knighted.
‘It’s not that I mind Britain broadcasting to the world a film in which the monarch gives one of the country’s highest honours to a bigoted, manipulative satyromaniac. After all, the Queen has to dub much dodgier customers all the time. My objection is that Bond would not want to be knighted.
‘At the end of Ian Fleming’s novel The Man with the Golden Gun (1965), Bond, laid up in Jamaica after being shot by Scaramanga, receives a telegram from “M” announcing that the Prime Minister wants to offer him a knighthood. He tells his sidekick Mary Goodnight to send a refusal, insisting that he is “a Scottish peasant and will always feel at home being a Scottish peasant.”
“‘I just refuse to call myself Sir James Bond. I’d laugh at myself every time I looked in the mirror to shave’”, he says. The thought of being “called upon to open things, lay foundation stones, make after-dinner speeches, brought the sweat to his armpits”.’