Every Queen's man is a Bond, it's in his commission

Every Queen's man is a Bond, it's in his commission

''Madden, Paul Madden,'' is just one of the ways the British high commissioner works a bit of Bond into his everyday life.

On the eve of the Australian premiere of Skyfall, even her majesty's main man in Australia, his excellency Paul Madden, is not immune to 007 fever.

Beyond the security checkpoints and gardens of the British high commission, peppered with English oak trees, a gift from Winston Churchill, there is a household brimming with Bond aficionados.

''The British commission has lots of Bond-like qualities,'' Mr Madden said.

''We are dynamic, we are engaged with the world, we are high-tech, we are working with our allies like Australia to make the world a better place and, of course, all the staff are both suave and beautiful.''

The cinematic release of the 23rd blockbuster focusing on the world's most popular MI6 agent is a palate- cleansing end to the cultural feast the Brits have served the world recently.


Entree came courtesy of Prince William's marriage to Catherine Middleton.

Then came Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee extravaganza, while the London Olympics and opening and closing ceremonies were hearty, satisfying mains with a side of belly laughs.

''I thought her majesty's cameo role was the best moment in the ceremony. British humour at its best,'' Mr Madden said, referring to the Queen's scene with incumbent James Bond star Daniel Craig in Danny Boyle's production for the opening ceremony of the Games.

''When I had an audience with her at Windsor Castle last month, I was half hoping she'd say 'Good evening Mr Bond'.''

Mr Madden said like the next generation of royals and the Harry Potter movie franchise, the Bond brand is an enduring bastion of British culture and the man currently filling out the tailored, hand-made Tom Ford suits and drinking shaken martinis is on track to be the best Bond yet.

''Daniel Craig is turning out to be the best Bond ever. He has now become my favourite Bond, as he's the personification of cool and I think Skyfall is certainly his best yet.''

While the high commissioner gets around Canberra in a 2011 Jaguar XF diesel sedan, he said an Aston Martin DB5 as seen in Goldfinger would be his dream car. He admitted to being fascinated by Q and ''his dazzling British inventions'' but has always found Rosa Klebb's signature weapon - her low-tech dagger shoes - ''most scary''.

As for the inevitable James Bond question, does the British high commissioner imbibe like Bond?

''I had a Vesper martini before the Australian premiere in Sydney last week. Heavenly. Shaken of course - stirring is what you do to cocoa.''

Skyfall opens on Thursday, November 22.

Jenna Clarke

Jenna Clarke is fashion and lifestyle writer/editor with Fairfax Media.

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