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Meet The Stuntman Who Parachuted Into The Olympic Opening Ceremony Dressed As The Queen

Sorry to inform you that the parachutist wasn’t actually the Queen. (She didn’t want to mess up her hair.)

(Salmon pink is really his color.)

A highlight of the Olympic Opening Ceremony was most definitely watching the Queen’s encounter with Daniel Craig James Bond. Barely breaking a smile and clearly neither shaken nor stirred as usual, she “accompanied him” on a “helicopter ride across London” anyway, and then “parachuted down into the arena.”

Shockingly, it wasn’t actually Queen Elizabeth making the jump. (In fact, she wasn’t even in the helicopter at all — that was an actress famed for playing Agatha Christie’s old lady detective Miss Marple on British TV.) Making the big entrance in her stead — and dressed up very nicely, as the photo above shows was 42 year-old stuntman Gary Connery. Here he is looking less regal:

Connery’s a very experienced skydiver and base jumper, who recently broke the world record for the highest skydive made without a parachute. He jumped from 2400 feet in a “specially designed wingsuit” that looked kind of like an inflatable mattress, and landed in a big pile of cardboard boxes in a field.

He told Sky News he’d made a number of test jumps (hopefully those were also in costume) to make sure everything would go just perfectly on the big night, and that the experience was “unsurpassable.” Dressing up like the queen was apparently also “thoroughly enjoyable,” he said, though he makes no mention of getting to meet her majesty either before or after the big stunt. Which is a royal shame, because that would have been quite the photo opportunity.

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