Camilla jokes with UK’s Eurovision entry Mae Muller: ‘No nul points!’

The King and Queen Consort visited Liverpool and lit up the arena which will be hosting the international song contest

Tony Jones
Thursday 27 April 2023 08:07 BST
Timeline of Camilla, Queen Consort's life ahead of historic coronation

The Queen Consort told the UK’s Eurovision hopeful Mae Muller “No nul points” when she joined the King in unveiling the contest’s spectacular stage.

Charles and Camilla, who are busy preparing for their coronations, visited Liverpool and lit up the arena hosting the global show, which will crown a national winner on Saturday May 13.

Eurovision 2023 managing director Martin Green said the royal couple expressed “interest” in the event, and he dubbed the week between the coronation and the song contest’s grand final “the most extraordinary seven days”.

The King and his wife met Muller after they were given a behind-the-scenes tour of Liverpool Arena, which is hosting the semi-finals on May 9 and 11 as well as the grand final on May 13.

Chatting to the singer, who hopes her track, “I Wrote A Song,” will end the UK’s 25-year wait for victory, Charles gave her encouragement, saying: “We will be watching you with great interest – egging you on.”

Muller replied: “Thank you, no pressure. No nul points”, and Camilla echoed her words, saying: “No! No nul points.”

The royal couple set off a glittering light show in the Liverpool Arena after they were counted down by an invited audience and pushed a large button.

Eurovision 2023 will take place in Liverpool after the UK was chosen to host the competition on behalf of war-torn Ukraine which won the last contest.

It will be the first time the competition has been held in the UK for 25 years.

Mr Green, who hosted the royal visit, said of the period from the May 6 coronation to Eurovision the following Saturday: “Arguably, it’s the most extraordinary seven days that we’ve had for a long time – two really important parts of our culture being broadcast to the globe.

“I just think we’ll all just fall over at the end, but it’s going to be a really exciting week.”

On the newly unveiled stage, Charles and Camilla chatted to some of the Eurovision hosts including Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, Emmy-Award winning actress Hannah Waddingham and BBC Radio 2 commentators Rylan and Scott Mills.

Ms Waddingham said to the Queen Consort: “I can’t believe you are both here given what you have coming up next week, thank you so much.

“You’ll have to put yourselves in a darkened room afterwards and try and switch off.”

Camilla nodded her head enthusiastically in agreement.

The couple were joined by Tim Davie, BBC director-general, during their tour which took them into a props department which was off limits to the press to preserve some surprises for the big night.

To mark the visit Blue Peter presenters Abby Cook, Joel Mawhinney and Mwaksy Mudenda presented the couple with gold Blue Peter badges – the programme’s highest award.

The couple were quizzed by some young badge winners and one schoolboy asked about coronation celebrations and which of the events the king was “most looking forward to”.

“That’s a very difficult question,” replied Charles, who added: “All of them, I hope it gives enormous pleasure to other people.”

A little girl asked if he watched Blue Peter when a boy: “Yes I did, can you believe it, and a lot of other ones which are no longer existing, sadly.”

On the second leg of the royal visit to Liverpool, the royals toured Liverpool Central Library, to the mark the twinning of the library with Ukraine’s first public library, the Regional Scientific Library in Odesa, Liverpool’s twin city in Ukraine.

The Central Library will give assistance to its Ukraine counterpart as the country rebuilds following the destruction caused by the invasion by Russia.

A group of anti-royal protestors held, ‘Not My King’ banners and booed as the royal party arrived in blazing sunshine, but the jeers were drowned out by cheers as hundreds more well-wishers clapped and waved Union Flags as the royal party arrived.

Both Charles and Camilla then went walkabout, chatting and shaking hands with members of the public.

Before entering the library, Camilla visited a bookstand outside, part of a Eurovision-linked drive to increase reading, where she was invited to write on a chalkboard, her suggested, ‘Good Read’.

Camilla, reportedly an avid reader, wrote the title, Love is Blind, by William Boyd.

Inside, Charles and Camilla were presented with sunflowers by children of Ukrainian families settled in Liverpool along with Veronika Yasynska, herself a displaced Ukrainian.

She visited the library for reading materials, information and advice and it was her suggestion that it twin with the library in Ukraine.

Camila, seated before a group of local schoolchildren, was treated to a re-telling of The Magic Mitten, a Ukrainian folklore tale before an official ceremony to mark the library twinning, in a live video link up to Odesa.

Appearing on the link, the First lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska told the royal visitors that the Russian invasion had destroyed hundreds of libraries in Ukraine.

She added: “I’m greatly honoured to be present at this twinning ceremony. I’m thankful of their majesties, the King and the Queen for their attendance, for the daily friendship and support from them.

“We thank you, Great Britain, for standing with us also on this cultural front line.”

Charles said: “I must stay I find it truly terrifying that more than 300 state and university libraries in Ukraine have been destroyed in recent months and our hearts go out to all those so affected and also how much has been lost in this terrible disaster.

“If it is true to say that the limits of our language are the limits of our world, then the role of libraries is something to be treasured greatly.”

Charles spoke the Ukrainian phrase, ‘A book saves the soul’, before wishing the venture a success.

Councillor Roy Gladden, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, said: “The eyes of the world will be on Liverpool in May and our hearts will be with Ukraine.”

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