Thompson lost in qualifying on Sunday and was sitting around watching the tennis in the London sunshine when he got the call that he had made the draw at lunchtime on Tuesday after Bedene picked up a wrist injury.
If British tennis fans were stunned by Andy Murray's first-round exit at Queen's Club, the Australian who sent him packing admits he never saw it coming either.
Thompson will go through to face American Sam Querrey in round two.
But Murray is confident he has rediscovered his rhythm in time to mount a strong defence of the Wimbledon crown he won for a second time a year ago. "I feel really at home on the grass and I've always received unbelievable support whether it's playing here or at Wimbledon, so I'm hopeful I can have another strong grass court season".
While Murray was not at his best, the Scot praised Thompson and said he was fully deserving of his victory.
Vehicle strikes several pedestrians in London
Early witness reports suggested that pedestrians had been struck as they left late-night prayers for the holy month of Ramadan. Vanzella said she went to the window and saw "loads of people gathering" in a corner across the road from her window.
For all Murray's inadequacies, the Australian 23-year-old played brilliantly, dictating the points with his rasping forehand and showing an aggressive approach that his more established opponent was simply unable to match. "Today's match was not good but I was much better in practice", Murray said.
Grigor Dimitrov, the 2014 Queen's champion, is the only player other than Murray to have won the tournament in the last four years and the Bulgarian takes on Ryan Harrison of the United States in the first round.
'I signed in for the Lucky Loser spot, ' he said after the incredible win.
"I was just a little too passive".
He was on the ropes yesterday when he handed back a mini-break in the first set tie-break before missing a simple volley and then dropped his serve twice in the second set. After that unexpected reverse, which came in three sets against France's Nicolas Mahut, your correspondent enquired how anxious he might be feeling about his prospects for Wimbledon.