Queen Elizabeth Dons 3D Glasses for 'Narnia' World Premiere
LONDON -- Fake foam snow mingled with real snow flurries as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip arrived amid freezing conditions in central London Tuesday evening to attend the Royal Film Performance and world premiere of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
It is the first time in the history of the Royal film performances that the Queen has donned 3D glasses to watch a movie.
Twentieth Century Fox, who took up the fantasy franchise from the Walt Disney Company for the third outing, alongside the franchise's Walden Media put on quite a show before the Queen arrived with former X Factor winner Joe McElderry, who sings the soundtrack to the film, performing a brace of songs from the movie.
On arrival the Queen and her husband were whisked upstairs at the Odeon Leicester Square to meet representatives from Twentieth Century Fox, Walden Media and the cast and crew.
Twentieth Century Fox U.K. managing director Cameron Saunders introduced the British monarch to a slew of top brass including Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen and CEOs Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, production president Elizabeth Gabler, Walden Media's Philip Anschutz, producer of this picture and director of the previous two Narnia films Andrew Adamson, producer Mark Johnson and director Michael Apted.
Also given the Royal nod were cast members including Anna Popplewell, Will Poulter, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, voice of the Lion Aslam Liam Neeson and Simon Pegg, who lends his vocals to mouse Reepicheep.
Ben Barnes, who plays King Caspian in the film, had to leave the premiere before the Queen arrived as he was due to tread the boards in Birdsong at the Comedy Theater around the corner in the West End.
Oscar-winning scribe, producer and actor Julian Fellowes delivered the Royal address to a packed theater, noting that the first Royal film performance feature length film was aired at Marlborough House in 1916. He also pointed to the fact this movie is the first to be shown in 3D to the Queen.
After the pleasantries and thanks for the work of the charity The Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund for which the fundraising evening is held, Fellowes brought Apted to the stage.
Apted thanked everyone for "battling the inclement weather to get here."
He also expressed his gratitude to the C.S. Lewis estate, Walden Media and Fox for continuing to fight to bring the Narniabooks to the big screen and name checked his "new best friend," screenwriter Michael Petroni and long time collaborator, composer David Arnold.
Apted then brought the attending cast to the stage before apologizing to the Queen on Barnes' behalf for having to leave for his stage turn. "Duty calls," Apted explained.
The Royal Film Performance is the major fundraising event of The Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund and the Queen is patron of the charity, which supports film and TV employees and their families in times of hardship.
The third Narnia film sees Lucy and Edmund Pevensie returning to the magical land of Narnia, along with their cousin Eustace.
They are transported to the Eastern Sea and are rescued by King Caspian and his boat the Dawn Treader.