Britain's Queen Elizabeth II delighted millions of viewers during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations by appearing in a surprise comic sketch with Paddington Bear on Saturday night, revealing she loves marmalade sandwiches, and keeps an emergency stash in her famous handbag.

The monarch and the famous bear met for a chaotic cream tea at Buckingham Palace in a secretly pre-recorded sequence played at the start of the BBC's televised Platinum Party at the Palace concert.

They were pictured sitting opposite each other in ornate chairs at a table, laid for afternoon tea, covered with a white linen cloth in an opulent room.

The duffle-coat-wearing bear told his host how he ensured he always had his favourite treat on him just in case, lifting up his red hat to reveal his snack.

Queen Elizabeth responded by saying: "So do I."

She then opened her bag and declared: "I keep mine in here" - showing her very own ready-made supply of the bread and orange preserve staple.

The crowd at Buckingham Palace watched the encounter on big screens Photos: Press Association

"For later," she added.

Paddington caused raised eyebrows from a Buckingham Palace footman by gulping down his tea from the spout of the teapot, and leaving none left for the amused Queen Elizabeth, who declared: "Never mind."

The accident-prone bear was shown causing mayhem by accidentally spraying a splodge of cream from a chocolate eclair onto the footman's face.

The bear congratulated the monarch on her reign of 70 years, saying: "Happy Jubilee Ma'am. And thank you. For everything."

The modest Queen Elizabeth replied: "That's very kind."

The unlikely duo then tapped out the beat of We Will Rock You - on china teacups, using silver spoons - to get the concert under way at Buckingham Palace Garden for opening act Queen + Adam Lambert. Other acts on the bill included Diana Ross, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Duran Duran and Alicia Keys.

Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth felt the opportunity to invite Paddington to tea was "too fun to miss".

Diana Ross was among the performers at the concert

The two-and-a-half-minute film brought back memories of Queen Elizabeth's James Bond skit for the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, when the monarch met 007, played by Daniel Craig, and then appeared to parachute into the stadium, with the help of a body double.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "Her Majesty is well known for her sense of humour, so it should be no surprise that she decided to take part in tonight's sketch.

"There was an interest in the filming and animation process and the opportunity to invite a famous bear to tea was just too much fun to miss.

"While The Queen may not be attending the concert in person, she was very keen that people understood how much it meant to her and that all those watching had a great time."

The film was kept under wraps for several months by Buckingham Palace, BBC Studios and Heyday Films/StudioCanal.

Actor Ben Whishaw voiced Paddington, just as he did in the hit movie versions of the children's story.

Those involved in the film, which was actually shot at Windsor Castle, praised Queen Elizabeth's wit and warmth during the process.

Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth felt the opportunity to invite Paddington to tea was "too fun to miss"

Rosie Alison of Heyday Films said in a statement: "Filming Her Majesty's tea party with Paddington Bear was such an emotional day for the entire crew. All of us were in awe of The Queen's wit, warmth and radiant aura as she patiently engaged with a polite, clumsy but very well-intentioned bear.

"Of course, she shone, and put Paddington (and all of us) at ease. Capturing this lovely encounter was an absolute joy and unique privilege for the whole team."

Paddington, created by late British author Michael Bond, and Queen Elizabeth share something in common - they both have two birthdays.

When Paddington was adopted by the Brown family, they agreed that bears, "just like the Queen", have two birthdays every year.

Queen Elizabeth's actual birthday is on 21 April, but she has an official one each year in June. Paddington's birthdays are on 25 June and 25 December.

He has visited Queen Elizabeth before - with a costumed Paddington going to Buckingham Palace in 2006 for a children's party filled with storybook characters as part of the monarch's 80th birthday celebrations.

Source: Press Association

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