Australian news presenters awkwardly recognized British Prime Minister Liz Truss as she arrived at the Queen’s state funeral – mistakenly assuming she might be a ‘minor royal’.
World leaders including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau were among the 2,000 attendees at Westminster Abbey yesterday.
But Australian network Channel Nine did not acknowledge The British Prime Minister and her husband Hugh O’Leary as they got out of a car and headed to the church in London for the funeral.
Veteran network presenters Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw wondered who they were, saying the pair were “hard to identify”.
The presenters suggested they might be ‘minor royals’ and then ‘local dignitaries’ before being told it was actually Liz Truss.
Australian network Channel Nine did not recognize the British Prime Minister and her husband Hugh O’Leary as they got out of a car
Ms Truss was joined by a host of world leaders for Monday’s state funeral
As the Prime Minister arrived, presenters said it was a ‘large motorcade’ but struggled to identify it
Ms Truss (pictured ahead of Monday’s funeral) was the last world leader to be pictured with the Queen on her last official duty, just 48 hours before her death
Overton and Grimshaw stumbled trying to identify Liz Truss and thought she might be ‘minor royalty’
As Ms Truss got out of her car to watch the ceremony, Mr Overton said: ‘So this is a large motorcade, we are now told.’
“Come with us as we try to identify who is getting out of the car. It’s under police escort of course. I would suggest it could be royalty, Tracy.
‘Difficult to identify. Possibly minor royals, members of the… I cannot identify them at this stage…’
Grimshaw replied that they looked like ‘they might well be local dignitaries’ before Overton said ‘we just said it 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) made her way to church on Monday as millions around the world watched
She hailed the ‘tremendous outpouring of love and affection’ towards the late monarch
People were quick to notice the gaffe on social media, with one saying, “Gold.” Australian television cannot identify the couple attending Queen’s funeral. Suppose it is impossible to recognize everyone and it must be a “local dignitary”.
“It’s the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss.”
Another tweeted: ‘Hard to believe but Channel Nine stars Tracy Grimshaw and Peter Overton were in London commenting on arrivals at Westminster Abbey, when they were puzzled as the British Prime Minister entered in the cathedral. Wow.’
One tweeted: “Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw having no idea who Liz Truss – the new UK Prime Minister – is during live coverage of the Queen’s funeral was so *awks*.
Many called the blunder ’embarrassing’ and were surprised the presenters didn’t recognize Liz Truss
The gaffe came as BBC news presenter Hugh Edwards failed to name the Australian Prime Minister as he entered Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral.
As cameras zoomed in on the arrival of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon, no mention of them was made, first viewers to believe that the BBC failed to acknowledge him.
Commentator Jane Caro tweeted: “BBC focused on getting Albo into the church – clearly commentators have no idea who he is.”
“The BBC comment not acknowledging Albo was pretty awesome,” tweeted another.
Mr Edwards has been widely praised 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
After a public holiday for the funeral, political and business life was picking up again and workers were busy cleaning up the debris left by the more than a million 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 engagement after the new ruler spent an exhausting week presiding over the funeral.
The Queen’s coffin was on display from Wednesday to Monday morning in the cavernous Westminster Hall of the Houses of Parliament, and the wait time for public mourners at one point reached 25 hours.
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said her government department was still “calculating the numbers” but believed around 250,000 people passed through the hall in total.
“It was a great feeling for the community to come together,” she told Sky News.
Donelan said she did not know the final cost of the state funeral at Westminster Abbey, which involved an extensive security operation for hundreds of foreign dignitaries.
But she said the British public would agree “it was money well spent”.
“You saw so many thousands there and I don’t think anyone can suggest that our late monarch didn’t deserve this send-off, considering the duty and selfless service she undertook for more than 70 years.”
Liz Truss flew to the United Nations General Assembly hours after delivering a Bible reading at the state funeral.
En route to New York, Ms Truss praised the “enormous outpouring of love and affection” towards the late monarch, as well as the “enormous amount of warmth towards” Charles.
In an interview with reporters, Ms Truss said: “It was a momentous time and a time of great grief and sadness in the UK, and I think you saw a huge outpouring of love and affection for his late majesty as well as an enormous amount of warmth towards King Charles III.
“Today at the funeral we saw such public support and I also saw this from world leaders who came to London in unprecedented numbers.
“From my perspective, I am extremely honored to have been asked 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 tremendous outpouring of public warmth and support for him and the entire Royal Family.”