Q’s History Through Ties

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Desmond Llewelyn says in the Licence to Kill DVD commentary, “I wear a different tie every time, and I have sort of the history of Q worked out.” Llewelyn brought his own personal history and affiliations—including military, college and sports club—to the character of Q, also known as Major Boothroyd. Q actually does not wear a different tie every time, though his numerous regimental and club ties subtly give the character a more specific personal background than even James Bond has.

I have not been able to identify all the ties. Please comment below if you know what the unidentified ties represent and the article will be appended. You can click on the images to see them larger.

From Russia with Love

2-Q-From-Russia-with-Love-Brigade-of-Guards-Tie

The first time we see Desmond Llewelyn’s Q he is wearing a Brigade of Guards tie with his Prince of Wales suit. The Brigade of Guards tie has stripes in maroon and dark blue.

Goldfinger

3-Q-Goldfinger-Radley-Golf-Club-Tie

In the lab Q wears a Order Radleian Golf Club tie from Radley College with his brown tweed suit, which Llewelyn attended. The tie has red stripe with a narrower white stripe spaced below it.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

6-Q-On-Her-Majesty's-Secret-Service-Striped-Tie

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #1: In the opening scene in M’s office, Q wears a brown tie with rose and purple stripes. We get a much better look at this tie in Diamonds Are Forever.

6-Q-On-Her-Majesty's-Secret-Service-Wedding-Tie

Q wears a light teal-grey textured tie at James Bond’s wedding. It is similar to Bond’s own tie.

Diamonds Are Forever

7-Q-Diamonds-Are-Forever-Radley-Golf-Club-Tie

Q wears an Order Radleian Golf Club tie in his lab, which he previously wears in Goldfinger.

7-Q-Diamonds-Are-Forever-Striped-Tie

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #1: The brown tie with rose and purple stripes returns from the previous film, and we get a better look at it here. Q wears it in both the scene where Bond poses as Burt Saxby on the phone and at the casino.

The Man with the Golden Gun

9-Q-The-Man-with-the-Golden-Gun-Radley-College-Boat-Club-Tie

Q wears the Order Radleian Boat Club (Mariners) tie from Radley College when Bond meets him in the lab to examine the gold bullet and later in the second scene on the RMS Queen Elizabeth. The tie is black with a red stripe and thin white stripes spaced above and below the red stripe.

9-Q-The-Man-with-the-Golden-Gun-Striped-Tie-2

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #2: In the first scene on the RMS Queen Elizabeth, Q wears a black tie with widely spaced pink stripes.

The Spy Who Loved Me

10-Q-The-Spy-Who-Loved-Me-Brigade-of-Guards-Tie

The Brigade of Guards tie that Q first wears in From Russia with Love returns during Bond’s briefing and again at the end of the film.

10-Q-The-Spy-Who-Loved-Me-Tie-2

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #3: In Egypt and Sardinia, Q wears a red striped tie with white and black stripes. The stripes are in the reverse direction.

Moonraker

11-Q-Moonraker-Radley-Golf-Club-Tie

The Order Radleian Golf Club from Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever returns for the third and final time in the M’s office scene in Moonraker.

11-Q-Moonraker-Tie-2

At the South American headquarters, Q wears a dark blue tie with a yellow stripe pattern. The stripes are in groups of three, with the middle stripe being narrower than the other two. Charles Day identified it as the 1st and 3rd Trinity College Boat Club Tie.

11-Q-Moonraker-Tie-3

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #5: At the end of Moonraker, Q wears a tie with wide pink and black stripes. We get another look at this tie in Licence to Kill.

For Your Eyes Only

12-Q-For-Your-Eyes-Only-Tie-1

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #6: In his lab, Q wears a navy or black tie with a triple stripe pattern in white, red and pink. The order of the three stripes reverses each repeat.

12-Q-For-Your-Eyes-Only-Radley-College-Boat-Club-Tie

The Order Radleian Boat Club from The Man with the Golden Gun returns in the final scene.

Octopussy

13-Q-Octopussy-Tie-1

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #7: At the lab, Q wears a Navy tie with a white double-stripe pattern. Between each double-stripe is a white symbol.

13-Q-Octopussy-Brigade-of-Guards-Tie

Q yet again wears the Brigade of Guards tie when piloting the hot air balloon

A View to a Kill

14 Q A View-to-a-KIll-Khaki-Knitted-Tie

Q wears a khaki knitted tie with morning dress, possibly to signify service in the Royal Artillery. RA officers wear a khaki knitted tie as part of their service dress. Otherwise, a casual knitted tie looks out of place with formal morning dress.

14-Q-A-View-to-a-KIll-Brigade-of-Guards-Tie

At the end of A View to a Kill, Q wears his trusty Brigade of Guards tie.

The Living Daylights

15-Q-The-Living-Daylights-Brigade-of-Guards-Tie

When he helps Koskov escape, Q once again wears a Brigade of Guards tie.

15-Q-The-Living-Daylights-Newport-RFC-Tie

In his lab with his three-piece Glen Urquhart check suit, Q wears a Newport Rugby Football Club. The tie is black with pairs of amber stripes, after the Newport RFC’s nickname, the “Black & Ambers”. The tie also has a motif of silver Prince of Wales’s feathers badges. The Prince of Wales’s feathers is a symbol of Wales that consists of three ostrich feathers emerging from a coronet. The tie also has a motif of red and green roses. Llewelyn played rugby for the club.

Licence to Kill

16-Q-Licence-to-Kill-Brigade-of-Guards-Tie

Q is first seen in Bond’s hotel room wearing his Brigade of Guards tie.

16-Q-Licence-to-Kill-Black-Tie

He wears a black tie as part of a chauffeur disguise.

16-Q-Licence-to-Kill-Guards-Armoured-Division-Tie

In one of Q’s scenes in Bond’s hotel room he wears a Guards Armoured Division tie. This navy tie has a motif of a white “ever open eye” inside the red outline of a shield. Llewellyn’s character in the 1950 Terence Young-directed film They Were Not Divided served in the Guards Armoured Division.

16-Q-Licence-to-Kill-Tie-1

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #8: Whilst assisting Bond on a boat, Q wears a navy tie with red, grey/grey-blue and white stripes. The stripes are in the reverse direction.

16-Q-Licence-to-Kill-Tie-2

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #5: The tie with wide black and pink stripes from the end of Moonraker returns.

GoldenEye

17-Q-GoldenEye-Brigade-of-Guards-Tie

GoldenEye features the seventh and final appearance—as well as the fifth consecutive appearance—of Q’s Brigade of Guards tie.

Tomorrow Never Dies

18-Q-Tomorrow-Never-Dies-Avis-Tie

As part of his disguise as an Avis car rental salesman “Quentin Quigley”, Q wears a black tie with printed red hexagon-like shapes and white lines. This tie is likely just part of the disguise and not relevant to Q’s background

The World Is Not Enough

19-Q-The-World-Is-Not-Enough-Tie-1

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #9: When working on the Q boat, Q wears a navy tie with an unknown red motif.

19-Q-The-World-Is-Not-Enough-Tie-2

UNIDENTIFIED TIE #9: In his Scottish castle lab, Q wears a navy tie with a large yellow motif.

Q-Royal-Welch-Fusiliers

In publicity stills for GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough, Q wears a Royal Welch Fusiliers tie. It is a brighter red and blue than the Brigade of Guards tie, and the red stripes are twice as wide as the blue stripes. Llewelyn served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers during the Second World War.

Can anyone help identify the ten unidentified ties? Llewelyn mentioned a two ties in the Licence to Kill DVD commentary that are likely the ties that can’t be identified. One is for Trinity College of Cambridge, which Llewelyn attended. The other is for Malpas Cricket Club (MCC), for whom Llewelyn played cricket.

11 COMMENTS

  1. What an incredibly well researched and put together article! Your attention to details and knowledge never fails to surprise me. I had never noticed that so many of Q’s ties where used several times!

  2. None of them look like a Trinity College tie to me – you can find images of all the Cambridge college ties on the Ryder and Amies website. I wonder if it is a Trinity sports club tie or something similar?

  3. #9 could be the Farmers Club tie. The yellow motif on the nay tie is Ceres, goddess of agriculture. It looks like the old design which was available in green and navy. Recently the design has been modernised and the motif looks a bit different.

  4. The regimental tie from The World Is Not Enough press stills is of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, not Welch, as stated. To the best of my knowledge neither Q, nor indeed Llewelyn, have a reputation for reneging on deals or financial agreements.

    • I didn’t originally think that was the tie because the middle stripe wasn’t considerably narrower than the other two, but there is still a difference in width, so I think you are correct.

  5. The pink and black striped tie from Moonraker and Licence to Kill is the house tie for ‘E Social’ – one of the houses at Radley. I think the Golden Gun version with the thick black and thin pink is a variation of that. The Sardinia tie looks like it has a Radley connection too – possibly a team/colours tie.

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