Movie MI6 isn’t likely to be happy with the move as Bond is supposed to be an agent who operates, well, secretly. Public meetings with The Queen – despite technically being his boss – and parachuting over major sporting events with global television audiences are likely to be frowned upon and could be seen to be at odds with MI6’s clandestine mandate.
On the other hand, it’s maybe worth remembering that while the ceremony itself was watched by around 27 million people in the UK and up to a billion more worldwide, that’s still a minority on a global scale. Bond may be looking at a long-term reassignment to parts of the world where media coverage is more restricted and villains and their henchmen don’t recognise him as soon as he steps off a plane.
Still, Movie MI6 may have to focus more on its true role in the modern world. Bond has developed a reputation over his long career for bringing a sledgehammer approach to international espionage.
Bond has a habit of launching supposedly ‘covert’ attacks on megalomaniacs in hollowed-out volcanoes, thwarting bomb plots in public spaces and committing to adrenaline-fuelled powerboat chases down the Thames. He’s something of an exhibitionist, preferring to put on a show and save the world in broad daylight in front of a big crowd.
Anticipating public concerns, the head of Movie MI6 may respond like this: “Wow, really sorry about that! Bond asked for the day off and muttered something about an appointment with The Queen, but we kind of assumed he was off to see Brian May playing a secret gig somewhere as he’s a fan (who isn’t?).
“As most of you are aware, Bond’s been a bit of a PR liability for the best part of half a century, but we admit this crossed the line. Ok, the line is a dot. Still, in his defence, it was pretty cool wasn’t it? It was The Queen! The real Queen! And Bond! In a nifty helicopter! Parachuting down over the Olympic Stadium! I would argue that the cool factor is worth far more than any long-term national security issues that Bond may have compromised…
“This is the question we should really be asking ourselves: Do we want a star secret agent who spends all his time working menial tasks, doing lots of paperwork and protecting British interests by lounging around in posh hotel rooms all the time waiting for incredibly dull orders? Or would we like a star agent who plays fast and loose with the concept of ‘secret’, flirts incessantly with his secretary, brings some glamour to the job and likes a crowd when he’s saving the world?
“I think we’d like someone we can scream and shout for. It fits in gloriously well with the theme of putting Britain on the map and celebrating British culture throughout 2012. If a bit of old-fashioned British cheering can help inspire our Olympic athletes, then I don’t see why we can’t offer some for the star of our intelligence services too!
“So yes, we’ll dock his allowance for a few weeks, but I suspect the British public would largely appreciate me giving him a hearty slap on the back, before wondering where the hell he got to after his jumped out of the helicopter. Still, at least The Queen made it to the stadium in good time, eh?
“Peace out, Head of Movie MI6”