Jeffrey Archer recalls Barry Humphries’ iconic Charles and Camilla joke: ‘A great professional’

The late comedian had the royal couple in stitches during the 2013 Royal Variety Performance

Kate Ng
Monday 24 April 2023 11:33 BST
Long-time friend Jeffrey Archer says Barry Humphries was ‘great professional’

Jeffrey Archer has paid tribute to Barry Humphries as he recalled an iconic joke played by the late comedian on King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla.

In a recent appearance on Good Morning Britain, the author described Humphries as a “great professional”.

Humphries died in hospital on Saturday 22 April surrounded by his family, following reports he had been admitted with “serious health problems”. He was 89.

Archer recalled The Dame Edna Experience star’s joke during the 2013 Royal Variety Performance, during which he appeared to walk into the royal box by accident.

Dressed as Dame Edna Everidge, Humphries waves at the audience before taking a seat next to Charles and Camilla, then the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

But moments later, a man wearing a pair of sunglasses walked into the box, tapped Dame Edna on the shoulder and whispered something in her ear. He handed her a card, to which she reacted in shock.

As she got up to leave, Dame Edna declared: “They found me a better seat!” Charles and Camilla can be seen laughing throughout the whole sketch.

Archer said: “It was very, very clear, he didn’t tell Charles and Camilla what he was going to do, otherwise they wouldn’t have burst out laughing.

“He was a great timer, a great professional, everything was done brilliantly.”

In a statement following Humphries’ death, his family said: “He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit.

“With over 70 years on the stage, he was an entertainer to his core, touring up until the last year of his life and planning more shows that will sadly never be.”

They said that Humphries’ audiences were “precious to him”, adding: “He was also a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and a friend and confidant to many. His passing leaves a void in so many lives.”

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