Dame Shirley Bassey Forgot to Curtsy at King Charles’ Investiture

Dame Shirley Bassey Forgot to Curtsy at King Charles’ Investiture

Dame Shirley Bassey was so nervous when she picked up an honour from King Charles, she ‘forgot to curtsy’.

The 87-year-old singer was made a Companion of Honour by the monarch at Windsor Castle on Tuesday and admitted she was more scared of accepting the accolade – which has previously been awarded to the likes of Sir David Attenborough and J.K. Rowling – than she’s been about singing for the royal family.

She said: ‘I think it’s more nerve-racking to receive the award from him than to sing in front of him. I mean, it’s new, different, whereas singing I’ve been doing since I was a child.

‘I forgot to curtsy, but that’s why I grabbed his hands because I forgot to curtsy. Instinctive.’

The Diamonds Are Forever singer – who was joined at the ceremony by her daughter Sharon, grandson Sebastian and great-granddaughter Sofia – was aware she “shouldn’t” have broken protocol.

Dame Shirley Bassey was so nervous when she picked up an honour from King Charles , she 'forgot to curtsy'

Dame Shirley Bassey was so nervous when she picked up an honour from King Charles , she ‘forgot to curtsy’

The 87-year-old singer was made a Companion of Honour at Windsor Castle on Tuesday

The 87-year-old singer was made a Companion of Honour at Windsor Castle on Tuesday

She said: ‘I asked how he was, and he said he was fine and said, “You look wonderful.”

‘He wished me all the best and then I grabbed him – I know I shouldn’t have done that. But I grabbed both his hands and said, “I wish you well”.’

Shirley believes the most glamorous moment of her life was the first time she sang for the late Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Variety Performance.

She said: ‘I’ve had 70 years of glamorous moments. I think the first time I sang for the Queen at the Royal Variety – my very first show. And then I did quite a few after and was very blasé about it.’

Dame Shirley – who received her damehood in 1999 – previously admitted she had been ‘truly humbled’ to be awarded the Companion of Honour.

She said: ‘Receiving the Order of the Companions of Honour is just one of the most wonderful feelings. Music has been a constant companion in my life.

‘As a little girl growing up in Tiger Bay, I would dream of travelling the world and never imagined that one day my voice would take me to where I am now.

‘Entertaining audiences for over 70 years has been a privilege. My heart is full of emotion and I am truly humbled.’ 

'I forgot to curtsy, but that’s why I grabbed his hands because I forgot to curtsy. Instinctive,' she said of her meeting with King Charles after receiving the honour

‘I forgot to curtsy, but that’s why I grabbed his hands because I forgot to curtsy. Instinctive,’ she said of her meeting with King Charles after receiving the honour

The Diamonds Are Forever singer was joined at the ceremony by her daughter Sharon, grandson Sebastian and great-granddaughter Sofia

The Diamonds Are Forever singer was joined at the ceremony by her daughter Sharon, grandson Sebastian and great-granddaughter Sofia

Asked what it was like to be dubbed an icon, she said: ‘It can be very nice, and it can be very isolating and a nuisance – especially if you’re in a restaurant and people come and sit at your table uninvited.’

Dame Shirley was also asked if she had a favourite diva and at first thought to say Ella Fitzgerald but admitted: ‘She wasn’t a diva, she was so nice. Feet on the ground, she was so comfy, nothing diva-ish about her.’

Instead, she concluded that Madonna took the crown for her.

But Dame Shirley has expensive tastes too for her go to room service order of choice is ‘pink champagne and caviar.’

‘That would be my last meal,’ she joked.

And in case anyone was in any doubt about her taste, asked what she would be if she were an accessory, she answered simply: ‘A diamond’.

Dame Shirley admitted she was aware she "shouldn't" have broken protocol while accepting the honour

Dame Shirley admitted she was aware she “shouldn’t” have broken protocol while accepting the honour 

Dame Shirley at an earlier meeting with the then Prince Of Wales at Cardiff castle in 1999

Dame Shirley at an earlier meeting with the then Prince Of Wales at Cardiff castle in 1999 

Dame Shirley with Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles at a 2006 charity event in Petersham, Surrey

Dame Shirley with Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles at a 2006 charity event in Petersham, Surrey

The legendary singer is seen joking with the prince following her concert in 1978

The legendary singer is seen joking with the prince following her concert in 1978 

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