‘They could well be local dignitaries’: Moment Australian TV presenters admit they ‘can’t identify’ Liz Truss and her husband and suggest they are ‘minor royals’ as they enter Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey
- Australian news presenters did not recognise British Prime Minister Liz Truss
- Channel Nine said it may be ‘minor royals’ as she arrived at Westminster Abbey
- Presenters Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw were eventually told it was the PM
Australian news presenters awkwardly failed to recognise British Prime Minister Liz Truss as she arrived at the Queen’s state funeral – mistakenly assuming she could be a ‘minor royal’.
World leaders including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau were among 2000 attendees at the Westminster Abbey ceremony yesterday.
Veteran network presenters Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw were left scratching their heads as to who they were, saying the pair were ‘hard to identify’.
The presenters suggested they could be ‘minor royals’ then ‘local dignitaries’ before being informed it was actually Liz Truss.
Australian network Channel Nine failed to recognise Britain’s own Prime Minister and her husband Hugh O’Leary as they emerged from a car
Ms Truss was joined by a host of world leaders for the state funeral on Monday
As the PM arrived, presenters said it was a ‘significant motorcade’ but struggled to identify her
Ms Truss (pictured before the funeral on Monday) was the last world leader to be pictured with the Queen in her final official duty, just 48 hours before she died
Overton and Grimshaw stumbled trying to identify Liz Truss and thought she might be ‘minor royalty’
As Ms Truss climbed out of her car to attend the ceremony, Mr Overton said: ‘So, this is a significant motorcade, we are being told now’.
‘Come with us as we try and identify who is getting out of the car. This is under police escort of course. I would suggest this might be royalty, Tracy.
‘Hard to identify. Maybe minor royals, members of the … I can’t identify them at this point …’
Grimshaw replied they looked like ‘they could well be local dignitaries’ before Overton said ‘I’m just told that was Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister’.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss (pictured) was mistaken for a ‘minor royal’ by Channel Nine
Ms Truss (centre) making her way into the church on Monday as millions around the world watched
She has praised the ‘huge outpouring of love and affection’ shown towards the late monarch
People were quick to notice the gaffe on social media, with one saying: ‘Gold. Australian TV can’t identify couple attending Queen’s funeral. Say it’s impossible to be able recognise everyone and it must be some ‘local dignitary.’
‘It’s new British PM Liz Truss.’
Another tweeted: ‘Hard to believe but Channel Nine stars Tracy Grimshaw and Peter Overton were in London, providing commentary on the arrivals at Westminster Abbey, when they were stumped when the British Prime Minister walked into the cathedral. Wow.’
One tweeted: ‘Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw having no idea who Liz Truss – the new British Prime Minister – is during the live coverage of the Queen’s funeral was so *awks*.
Many described the blunder as ‘awkward’ and were surprised the presenters hadn’t recognised Liz Truss
The gaffe came as BBC news presenter Hugh Edwards didn’t name the Prime Minister of Australia as he entered Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral.
As cameras zoomed in on Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon arriving, no mention of them was made, leading viewers to believe the BBC hadn’t recognised him.
Commentator Jane Caro tweeted: ‘BBC focuses on Albo entering the church – it’s clear the commentators have no idea who he is.’
‘BBC commentary not recognising Albo was pretty great,’ another tweeted.
Mr Edwards has been praised widely for his coverage of the Queen’s death, even being described as a ‘master of his craft’.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon entering the chapel
Following a public holiday for the funeral, political and business life was resuming and workers were busy clearing up the debris left by an estimated million-plus people who lined the streets of London.
But King Charles III and the royal family will remain in mourning for another seven days, meaning no official engagements after the new sovereign spent an exhausting week presiding over the funeral build-up.
The queen’s coffin was on display from Wednesday to early Monday inside parliament’s cavernous Westminster Hall, and the waiting time for public mourners at one point reached 25 hours.
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said her government department was still ‘crunching the numbers’, but believed that around 250,000 people had passed through the hall in total.
‘It was a great sense of the community coming together,’ she told Sky News.
Donelan said she did not know the final cost of the state funeral at Westminster Abbey, which entailed a vast security operation for hundreds of foreign dignitaries.
But she said the British public would agree ‘that was money well spent’.
‘You saw so many thousands out there and I don’t think anybody can suggest that our late monarch didn’t deserve that send-off, given the duty and the selfless service that she committed to over 70 years.’
Liz Truss flew to the UN General Assembly hours after delivering a biblical reading at the state funeral.
En route to New York, Ms Truss praised the ‘huge outpouring of love and affection’ shown towards the late monarch, as well as the ‘huge amount of warmth towards’ Charles.
In an interview with reporters, Ms Truss said: ‘It has been a momentous period and a period of great grief and sadness in the United Kingdom, and I think you have seen a huge outpouring of love and affection for her late majesty as well as a huge amount of warmth towards King Charles III.
‘Today at the funeral we saw such huge public support and I have also seen that from world leaders who have come to London in unprecedented numbers.
‘From my own point of view, I am hugely honoured to have been invited to form a government by Her Majesty the Queen in one of her last acts.
‘Since then, I have had two audiences with His Majesty and what I have seen is a huge outpouring of public warmth and support for him and for the whole royal family.’