Daily Express

King’s tribute as Australia gives Dame Edna a state memorial

- By Emily Ferguson

THE King has sent a personal message to be read out at Barry Humphries’ state memorial in Australia today.

The monarch was a close friend of the Dame Edna Everage star and spoke to him just before he died aged 89 in April following hip surgery complicati­ons.

Charles later led tributes to Humphries, with the Palace saying he had been left “saddened”.

A state memorial is being held for the comic at the Sydney Opera House today. Family, friends and fans will gather to recall the life of the actor, poet, musician and artist.


It will be broadcast live on Australian television.

Humphries was made a CBE in 2007 and was a regular fixture at royal events, having also been a favourite of the late Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother.

He appeared at a Prince’s Trust 30th birthday concert in 2006, and left Charles and Camilla in stitches at the Royal Variety Performanc­e in 2013. That was when, wearing a striking red gown, Dame Edna gatecrashe­d the royal box, blowing Charles a kiss, before being passed a note. Then, turning to the crowd, she said: “Oh, sorry, they’ve found me a better seat.”

Charles laughed so much he was seen wiping away tears.

The admiration was mutual. In 2008 the comedian said the person he admired most was the then-Prince Charles as “he does a great deal of good work without anyone knowing about it”.

The King yesterday toured the Royal Courts of Justice in Central London – just a day before his son Prince Harry is due to discover the outcome of his High Court hacking claim against a tabloid newspaper publisher.

Charles walked in on students who had just performed a mock trial in a courtroom.


He joked: “I’m so sorry to interrupt”, before chatting to the young people from Ashcroft Technology Academy in Putney, South West London.

And he told judges and magistrate­s: “Maybe I’d be permitted just to thank you all enormously for the amount of effort you put into maintainin­g the system of justice in this country, which so many others seem to be envious of, as I discover when going around the world.

“I cannot thank you enough.”

Cheer...Sir Terry and Camilla pull the cracker
Pictures: BEN BIRCHALL/PA, CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY Cheer...Sir Terry and Camilla pull the cracker
 ?? ?? Pals…Edna and Charles in 2006
Pals…Edna and Charles in 2006

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