Actor Daniel Craig has been made an honorary Commander in the Royal Navy – matching the on-screen rank of James Bond.
CAPTION: Admiral Sir Tony Radakin and Commander Daniel Craig in London. Royal Navy photo by LPhot Lee Blease.
Commander Craig’s appointment as an honorary officer reflects his personal support for UK Armed Forces and links it with the legacy created through the guise of the fictional British secret agent.
Honorary officers in the Royal Navy bring a breadth of experience and contribute in their own distinct way to strengthen the navy’s ties with the communities it serves.
Commander Craig is keen to support personnel within the Royal Navy, with a particular interest in service families.
Commander Craig said “I am truly privileged and honoured to be appointed the rank of Honorary Commander in the senior service”.
The announcement comes ahead of the premiere of the newest Bond instalment No Time to Die.
Filmmakers worked closely with the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence in the production of the latest film in the franchise.
Warship HMS Dragon features in the movie with a sneak preview of the distinct Type 45 destroyer, with her red dragon emblem on the hull, seen cutting through the waves in the latest trailer.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said: “I am delighted to welcome honorary Commander Daniel Craig to the Royal Navy.
“Our honorary officers act as ambassadors and advocates for the Service, sharing their time and expertise to spread the message about what our global, modern, and ready Royal Navy is doing around the world.
“Daniel Craig is well known for being Commander Bond for the last fifteen years – a Naval officer who keeps Britain safe through missions across the globe.
“That’s what the real Royal Navy does every day, using technology and skill the same way as Bond himself.
“I look forward to him getting to see more of our sailors and marines over the coming months and years.”
As well as HMS Dragon making an appearance, the Royal Air Force also granted access to key assets and personnel. RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, was used as a backdrop in the film, standing in for a NATO airbase in Norway where Bond joins MI6 allies and later boards a C-17 Globemaster.
Meanwhile, the Army supplied troops from the Household Cavalry. They offered their time at a pivotal moment in their calendar, just before the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
The Royal Navy actually has a few real-life Bonds within its ranks. Lieutenant Commander Frances Bond, who serves at the Royal Navy’s headquarters in Portsmouth, was invited to meet Daniel Craig ahead of the launch of the new film.
Lt Cdr Bond said: “I’ve had my fair share of light-hearted banter from colleagues over being a real-life Bond but I never imagined I would actually one day get to meet the actor who played him.
“I really enjoyed speaking to Daniel Craig and the rest of the cast. It was fascinating to hear their perspectives on working with the armed forces and learning a bit about the world of Hollywood.
“There are some strange similarities between what we do. I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world during my service with the Royal Navy, like the cast have too with their filming locations.”