Even Prince William and Prince Harry were kept in the dark.
They told the BBC on Friday had no idea that their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, would play a cameo role in the Olympic opening ceremony.
The sedate, octogenarian monarch surprised many Britons by appearing in a film played at the Danny Boyle-directed opener last week.
The short tongue-in-cheek film shows the queen being picked up by James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) at Buckingham Palace before being whisked aboard a helicopter and flown toward the Olympic Stadium.
As the film ended, two people leapt from a helicopter above the stadium, suggesting that the queen herself was floating down to open the games.
An Internet video of the queen-James Bond piece has been widely viewed.