Kate Middleton, Prince William, Camilla Parker-Bowles, and Prince Charles may have just made the repeatedly delayed premiere of No Time to Die worth the wait. In a patriotic show of support for 007, the British royals made a fully unexpected appearance on the red carpet in London on Tuesday, politely allowing Daniel Craig, Lashana Lynch, Léa Seydoux, and Billie Eilish (who co-wrote and performs the theme song) to have their moment before stealing the show. The princes did so by virtue of showing up, having opted for black bowties and tuxedos. (William added some personality by choosing a velvet blazer, while Charles didn’t even bother with an interesting pocket square.) The duchesses, on the other hand, went with sparkles—a little in the case of Camilla, and a lot in the case of Kate: The latter literally glowed in a gold sequined cape dress by Jenny Packham, following in Princess Diana’s footsteps by attending a Bond premiere in metallics.
God bless the queen’s family and their manners, because the royals then went ahead and cordially introduced themselves to the evening’s most notable attendees. Soon, Kate was shaking hands with Eilish, who was outfitted in head-to-toe black Gucci. (In an alternate universe, they could have been the begrudging dressed-up alt girl and prom queen.) Meanwhile, Charles set about working the room, first playing it safe with lead stars Craig and Lynch. He then tried his hand at conversation with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Ana de Armas, and joined Kate in saying hello to Eilish (who is a full 53 years his junior) and her musical collaborator and brother Finneas. Elsewhere, Camilla shared some laughs with Ben Whishaw, while William shook hands with de Armas and exchanged pleasantries with Rami Malek. It all made for quite the amusing series of photo ops.
So what, exactly, did all these unlikely royal-celebrity pairings talk about? If there’s anyone who would share details of her encounter with Charles, it’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The actor and showrunner, who co-wrote No Time to Die’s screenplay at Craig’s specific request, didn’t shy from sharing the details of her run-in with Camilla during an appearance on the Graham Norton Show in 2018. “I am writing a show at the moment about a female assassin and a female MI5 agent and they kind of chase each other around the world,” Waller-Bridge recalled telling Camilla in a pitch for Killing Eve. “It is a lot of girl-on-girl action.” Camilla’s representative declined to comment at the time, but the way Waller-Bridge tells it, the fun-loving royal replied, “We all like a little bit of that, don't we?”