Paul O’Grady recalls cheeky joke he cracked while meeting the Queen

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The UK’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday afternoon, September 8, at the age of 96. Millions of people from all over the world paid tribute to her on social media, including presenter Paul O’Grady.

The 67-year-old entertainer, who was born in Birkenhead, was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to entertainment.

On Instagram, he posted a picture of himself and the Queen, recalling their meeting at the Royal Variety Performance in 2001, where he cracked a cheeky joke about his musical abilities.

Beneath the photos, he wrote: “Here’s a couple of photos from The Royal Variety Performance 2001 (I think that was the date).

“I’m being presented to Her Majesty by our producer Jeff Thacker.

“Cilla [Black], Barbara Windsor and myself had performed ’You gotta have a Gimmick’ from Gypsy.

“I remember her asking me where I practised playing my bugle and if my neighbours objected, I told her I went down the field and whilst the neighbours didn’t seem to mind, a couple of sheep died of fright.

“R.I.P Ma’am.”

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A post shared by Paul O’Grady (@paulogrady)

Fans soon took to the comments to offer their own touching tributes to the late monarch.

One person wrote: “A very sad sad day and a great loss RIP Your Majesty”.

Another person commented: “We’ve lost our granny and I mean that in the most fondest love and respect”.

A third person said: “A beautiful and kind lady we will never forget her”.

Other celebrities to pay tribute include Piers Morgan, Lorraine Kelly, and Dame Joan Collins who said it “feels as if Britain is crying”.

The nation’s longest-reigning monarch passed away at her private royal residence in the Scottish Highlands, one of her favourite places, on Thursday afternoon. Members of the Royal Family made their way to Balmoral as it became clear that she had taken a turn for the worse. 

Only Charles, Camilla and Princess Anne, who were already in Scotland, are understood to have made it in time to be at her side, as Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie dashed north of the border.

With Her Majesty’s passing, her eldest son Charles has ascended to the throne to become King Charles III.

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