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Anthony Head

Anthony Stewart Head was at the Queen’s 80th Birthday Party

Sandra Westbrooke

Tuesday 27 June 2006, by Webmaster

Kids take over Buckingham Palace

Storybook characters mingled with children at the party The gardens of Buckingham Palace have never seen anything like it.

A black and white Jolly Roger flag has been hoisted above a pirate ship on the royal lake and a skeleton hangs from a tree.

Thomas the Tank Engine is getting up steam and Ratty and his friends from The Wind in the Willows are having a picnic.

The historic Waterloo Vase - 18 feet high and weighing 20 tons - is surrounded by red and white fairy toadstools.

On the lawn where the Queen normally greets guests during her summer garden parties, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is in full swing.

Meet the Queen

In the midst of this fantasyland, Her Majesty is doing a walkabout, greeting some of the excited children who are helping to celebrate her 80th birthday. I am delighted to have my handbag back, I do like happy endings The Queen

The youngsters, from all over Britain, were invited through a ballot, and the fun began well before they made their way past the guards at the Palace gates.

A procession up The Mall featured Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Noddy, Postman Pat, and Fireman Sam. In the Marble Hall, an enormous 18 ft Big Friendly Giant (BFG) waited to say hello.

On arrival, the young guests were given purple Jamie Oliver food hampers with finger sandwiches, a salad, fruit from around the Commonwealth and British strawberries.

But the centrepiece of the afternoon is a show which follows the hunt to find who stole the Queen’s bag containing her speech.

The cast of Harry Potter attended the Queen’s party Among the many stars who’ve worked on the production are Sophie Dahl, Ronnie Corbett, Jonathan Ross, Kelly Osbourne, Martin Clunes, Jerry Hall, Anthony Stewart Head and Patsy Kensit.

Some corgis - not the Queen’s - are also involved, and as stars, have their own trailers, right behind the stage.

In the end, good prevails and the Queen gets her handbag back, and is able to appear on stage to make that vital speech.

"I am delighted to have my handbag back, I do like happy endings," she says.