King Charles Pays Tribute to Comedian Barry Humphries

King Charles Pays Tribute to Comedian Barry Humphries: King Charles III offered a light-hearted tribute to the late Barry Humphries at a state memorial service in Australia on Friday. He reminisced about his own unease when the comedian’s alter ego, Dame Edna Everage, pulled a prank on him a decade ago.

Video of the prank, which occurred during a Royal Variety Performance in London in 2013, garnered widespread attention again following Humphries’ passing in Sydney in April at the age of 89.

Humphries, portraying the snobbish character Everage, approached the then Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, as they sat in the theater’s royal box. Everage glanced at her ticket and then humorously explained to the amused royals before departing, “I’m so sorry, they found me a better seat.”

Charles referenced the joke in a message that Australian Arts Minister Tony Burke read at the memorial service held at the Sydney Opera House. “I suspect that all those who appeared on stage or on TV with Barry’s Dame Edna, or who found her appearing at the back of the royal box, will have shared that unique sensation where fear and fun combined,” Charles wrote, eliciting laughter from the audience.

“Those who tried to stand on their dignity soon lost their footing. Those who wondered whether Australia’s housewife superstar might this time just go too far were always proved right. No one was safe,” Charles added. Humphries’ comic characters “poked and prodded us, exposed pretensions, punctured pomposity, surfaced insecurities but, most of all, made us laugh at ourselves,” Charles wrote.

Celebrities who sent video tributes to the Australian-born entertainer, who spent decades in London, included composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and comedians Jimmy Carr, David Walliams, and Rob Brydon. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also paid tribute.

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