Step aside, Houses Baratheon, Targaryen, Lannister and whoever else is shedding blood for the most uncomfortable chair in the Seven Kingdoms. Britain’s royal House Windsor has arrived in Westeros!
On 24 June 2014, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, toured the Game of Thrones set in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
And yes, Queen Elizabeth did get very close to the Iron Throne. The Queen and Lena Headey (who plays a former Queen herself in the series) appeared to be having a conversation about the throne, in a moment that should be iconic in its own right. How often do you see two Queens talking about one of the most recognisable symbols of power in the (entertainment) world?
You can almost hear the High Septon proclaiming, “Her Grace Elizabeth of the House Windsor, Second of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lady of the United Kingdom and Protector of the Commonwealth Realm…”
But the Queen declined to sit on the Iron Throne, no doubt disappointing media and fans from around the world. But it did seem like a wise decision, as the iconic seat for the Westerosi monarch, forged from 1000 swords surrendered to Aegon the Conqueror, is reportedly uncomfortable and occasionally cuts the incumbent, according to the books by George R. R. Martin.
Rest assured, Her Majesty did not go home empty-handed. The Queen was presented a miniature replica of the Iron Throne by Dan Weiss, one of the series’ executive producers.
Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh met with the show’s cast members Lena Headey (Queen Cersei Lannister), Conleth Hill (Lord Varys), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark).
The set was no doubt consumed by the overwhelming presence of both actual and fictional royalty and nobility. In fact, two of the cast members who met the Queen have connections to aristocracy.
Kit Harington is the nephew of Sir Nicholas John Harington, the 14th Baronet Harington, and Rose Leslie is the daughter of the Aberdeenshire Chieftain of Clan Leslie and grew up in a castle. In fact, through her mother’s side, Leslie is a descendant of Charles II. This lady is no wildling.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were also shown the countless weapons used in the bloody and gory (and that”s putting it mildly) series.
While it is not known if the Queen is a fan of the show, her youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife are reportedly avid followers of the series, ABC News reported.
According to The Guardian, Game of Thrones has helped to generate £82 million for the Northern Ireland economy since filming there began in 2009. The production had also created the equivalent of more than 900 full-time jobs and 5,700 part-time jobs in a region with less than 2 million inhabitants.