Rowan Atkinson sees the British royal family as a great "source of comedy".

The 'Johnny English Reborn' actor - who is a friend of Prince Charles - insists his love of making fun of the Monarchy is "born out of love and respect" for them, but he wouldn't ever want his work to be seen as "discrediting" them.

He said: "In 'Mr Bean' there was a 'thing' at the time about nutting the Queen Mother. We've inflicted violence on members of the royal family on a regular basis so it seems silly to stop now.

"But it's undoubtedly born out of love and respect and wanting them to carry on.

"The last thing I would wish is for it to discredit the British establishment or the monarchy because I need it there - a) as a source of inspiration and b) as a source of comedy."

But the 56-year-old star admitted to being "slightly concerned" about a scene in his forthcoming comedy movie 'Johnny English Reborn' - in which he plays a flawed secret agent - that sees his alter-ego knock the queen to the ground after mistaking her for an assassin.

He admitted: "Yes, I'm slightly concerned about that scene. It was a last-minute addition because we didn't have an ending and we thought that this was as good an idea as any but, you know, I've been making jokes about the queen for 30 years."

Rowan was among the stars who attended the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Duchess Catherine at Westminster Abbey in April - and he has likened the "wonderful" spectacle to watching a Shakespeare play, though he admitted he couldn't help but find humour in the ceremony.

He explained: "I loved it. It was a fantastic event. There was a wonderful theatricality to sitting inside Westminster Abbey and hearing the cheering of crowds outside.

"It was just like watching a Shakespeare play when the crowd is going, 'Hurrah, long live the King!' But whether it's the nuns In The Black trainers in the back of the shots, one can see sketches galore whichever way you look. I wouldn't presume and I wouldn't want the event to be in any way disrupted but all great state occasions have that [comic] potential."