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article imageBuckingham Palace to host 'Doctor Who' 50th birthday party

By Mathew Wace Peck     Oct 17, 2013 in Entertainment
The Countess of Wessex is to host a royal reception party at Buckingham Palace next month, in honour of the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who”, it has been revealed.
The news was broken earlier by Radio Times, revealing that it would take place on “on [Monday] 18 November, just five days before the 50th anniversary on 23 November”.
According to, Buckingham Palace “has not confirmed who will be invited, but [the BBC confirmed] cast and crew members past and present are expected [to attend]”.
In July, the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, visited the Doctor Who studios at Roath Lock, Cardiff, as part of their summer tour of Wales. While there, Prince Charles impersonated one of the Doctor's most feared enemies, a Dalek. Afterwards, the show's head writer, Steven Moffat, told BBC News, “I haven’t thought about how I could weave a meeting between the Doctor and the royal family. But Prince Charles’s attempt at being a Dalek was great. There would be a part in the show for him if he wanted it.”
Doctor Who has often referenced the British Royal Family and Buckingham Palace over the years. A few examples include, the 1972 story, The Curse of Peladon, where the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) claims to have attended the coronation of Queen Victoria.
In 1988, for the show’s 25th anniversary, then producer John Nathan-Turner was keen for Prince Edward – who, in the eighties worked in the arts for two theatrical production companies – to appear in the anniversary story Silver Nemesis, but Buckingham Palace vetoed the idea. In the event, Mary Reynolds appeared in the episode as Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Edward later went on to marry Sophie Rhys-Jones, the countess now hosting the Doctor Who bash.
Meanwhile, the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) had a couple of brushes with Queen Elizabeth I: The Shakespeare Code (2007) and The End of Time Part 1 (2009). In the first story, Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Globe theatre just as the Doctor is leaving. Upon seeing the Doctor, the monarch refers to him as her “sworn enemy”, but he doesn’t stay around long enough to find out how he’s upset her. However, in The End of Time, we learn that the Doctor had somehow got married to the so-called Virgin Queen, and promptly scarpered.
Queen Victoria comes face to face with a werewolf in Doctor Who: Tooth and Claw (2006)
Queen Victoria comes face to face with a werewolf in Doctor Who: Tooth and Claw (2006)
In Tooth and Claw (2006), Queen Victoria knighted the Tenth Doctor “Sir Doctor” and set up the Torchwood Institute, the organisation that has featured in Doctor Who and Torchwood many time. Also in this story, it is suggested that the Royal Family are lycanthropes.
In the 2007 Christmas special, Voyage of the Damned, the Tenth Doctor, again, averted the demolition of the British sovereign’s official residence, which was about to be struck by the Starship Titanic, much to the gratitude of the Queen (Jessica Martin), who was seen in slippers and a dressing gown, waving at the ship. In an alternate timeline, in Turn Left (2008), the Starship Titanic actually did destroy the property.
In 2009, in Planet of the Dead, the same Doctor parked his TARDIS in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, “with the full approval of the Queen”. In another alternate timeline, in an Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) story – The Wedding of River Song (2011) – the palace was the official residence of the Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill (Ian McNeice).
Doctor Who returns to TV screens on Saturday, 23 November, with the Moffat-penned 50th-anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. Over the Christmas holidays, the Christmas special, also penned by Moffat, will see the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) regenerate into the Twelfth (Peter Capaldi).
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