Well, wouldn't you?

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Ever dream of sitting on a royal throne? Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench did just that when they surreptitiously snuck away from a banquet during an official event and found themselves, unaccompanied, in a throne room. McKellen confessed the story on The Graham Norton Show last month. It all happened in Buckingham Palace during what McKellen describes as a “very posh occasion.”

On this occasion, McKellen and Dench left the event and began to wander through the palace, at which point they found themselves in the throne room. Upon realizing where they were, McKellen said, “I think this is the throne room—you know, where you got made a dame and I got made a knight.” (McKellen received his knighthood in 1991 and Dench was made a dame in 1988.) With the knowledge of where they were standing newly in hand, the pair went searching for the royal thrones. They found the ceremonial chairs behind a partition and promptly took a seat. (Wouldn’t you?) Watch the video below to see McKellen tell the story himself.

Watch the clip:

Why the misbehavior? McKellen says, “It brings out the worst in you, Buckingham Palace.” In the clip, he also goes on to tell a story about wandering out onto the palace balcony—you know the one—and lighting a cigarette. In no time, there was a light trained on him, and he was being admonished by a palace guard, “Sir Ian, don’t forget you’re in Buckingham Palace.” McKellen proves that sometimes stories that take place in such stately surroundings can’t help but take a turn toward the comedic. 

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If you could take a turn on a royal throne, would you? Which royals would you trade places with for a day?