Joanna Lumley clarifies Prince Charles 'friendship' while marking Queen Jubilee

Throughout the four-day bank holiday weekend, stars including Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder, Sir Rod Stewart and legendary singer Diana Ross have taken part in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to honour the Queen’s 70-year reign.

Today, the festivities will come to an end, with Dame Joanna Lumley taking part in Sky News’ coverage as members of the public watch the Jubilee Pageant take place outside Buckingham Palace.

For years, Dame Joanna has been referred to as a ‘close friend’ of Prince Charles in the media, making appearances with him on several occasions and receiving her Damehood in the 2022 New Years Honours for services to drama, entertainment and charity.

However, while speaking to before the Jubilee proceedings officially began, the Absolutely Fabulous star cleared up their relationship, saying that she believes people would be ‘foolish’ to describe themselves as close friends of the royals.

‘I’m not close friends,’ she clarified. ‘The thing is, it’s odd this thing about friendship. I think a friend friend, a close friend, is somebody who you can ring up in the middle of the night. I would not know how to get in touch with Prince Charles, let alone ring him at any time.’

Nonetheless, the 76-year-old said that when she has met the Prince of Wales and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall in the past, they have ‘always been extremely friendly’.

‘But I think you’re foolish if you say you’re close friends, because you’re not,’ she added, saying that while one can ‘adore them’, they wouldn’t be ‘close friends’ in her view.

While she may have only just been announced as a Dame a few months ago, the actor and presenter has ‘loved the Queen all my life’, she said, publishing a book about the monarch called A Queen for All Seasons in October last year.

The staunch royal supporter has previously spoken out against Netflix series The Crown, saying in December last year: ‘I don’t watch it because I know it’s made up. These are real people and suddenly they’re made up to be different people and I don’t think it’s right.’

The Finding Alice star said she felt ‘very privileged’ to be the third anchor for Sky News’ coverage of the Platinum Jubilee’s final day, emphasising how ‘shocked’ she felt when she first met Queen Elizabeth II.

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‘I only saw her in a black and white film when I was seven when she was crowned and I was a little child in Malaysia. And I didn’t know where England was,’ Dame Joanna recollected, having been born in India and lived in Hong Kong and Malaysia before returning to the UK when she was eight years old.

‘I’d never seen pictures of London even. Then to meet the Queen, and to talk to her to sit opposite her at a private lunch in Buckingham Palace. These are the sorts of things that make you pinch yourself.’

After decades spent in the spotlight, the Ab Fab icon recalled ‘all the kinds of people’ she’s met, including ‘massive movie stars and wonderfully humble people and very famous people and influential people’.

She continued: ‘You get to meet a lot of people so I’m not saying you get blasé. You get less shell-shocked… but nothing stops the shellshock of meeting the Queen because she’s the one and only.

‘It’s very, very different. You know, it’s always exciting. The Queen is one of those giant and forever stars.’

You can join Kay Burley, Alastair Bruce and Joanna Lumley on Sky News’ coverage of The Platinum Jubilee, with The Jubilee Big Lunch from 11am and The Jubilee Pageant from 2pm.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee 2022

Dust off your Union Jack bunting, Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee is well and truly upon us.

Taking place from Thursday, June 2, to Sunday, June 5, the celebrations mark Her Majesty’s record-breaking 70th year on the throne.

Across the UK, there will be street parties, concerts, and other special events attended by the Queen and senior members of the Royal Family.

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Visit’s Platinum Jubilee page for all the latest updates.

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