Charles and Camilla visit the set of EastEnders after filming a special episode of Jubilee
The Duchess of Cornwall has called Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose Ayling-Ellis a ‘star’, adding that her family voted for her on the BBC One show – during a visit to the set of EastEnders.
Charles and Camilla were guided around Albert Square on the Elstree set before meeting the soap opera’s cast and crew who had completed filming an episode in honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Deaf actress Ayling-Ellis, who plays Frankie Lewis on the show, presented Camilla with a bouquet of flowers, adding that it was an “honour” to meet the Duchess.
Camilla, who wore a silk dress and cream coat by Anna Valentine, said: “Rose, the star of Strictly.
“I said we all vote for Rose, I don’t know how you did all those dances.”
Ayling-Ellis then asked if the Queen watches Strictly, to which Camilla replied: ‘I think she does. She probably watched you. You must find out.
After the meeting, the actress told the PA news agency: “It was really funny because she’s a big fan of Strictly Come Dancing and she mentioned that she voted for me, which is so adorable, and his grandkids look up to him.
“It’s amazing, so beautiful. I mean come on, it’s the royals who vote for me, sometimes you forget how many people watch the show, I’m blown away.
A special moment came during a group photo of the cast and crew alongside the royal family.
Letitia Dean, who plays Sharon Watts in the soap, told the Prince of Wales: “You have your coat, very wise”, prompting Charles to remove his jacket and place it around his shoulders.
The chivalrous act was greeted with a round of applause.
Dean, who appeared in the soap opera’s first episode in 1985, later told her, “Thanks for lending me your coat, it smelled pretty good.”
She then presented Charles with an Albert Square street sign covered in molded signatures, alongside Steve McFadden who plays Phil Mitchell.
He told Charles, “On behalf of the cast, we hope it hangs by the fireplace.”
The royal couple were shown around EastEnders’ new set, which was originally due to be completed in 2018.
During the encounter, Camilla told actress Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale, that she used to watch her on EastEnders when it first aired.
Taylforth told the PA News Agency: ‘She said we were much younger then and it was nice to see the old faces. I said I had been there for 15 years, then I left and came back from the dead.
“She said, ‘I remember Angie and Dirty Den, I still have a few more episodes to catch up on,’ and Brian (Conley) said, ‘we’ll give you a box set.’
“It’s so exciting, we were all standing around the corner and we were all having fun and laughing and joking and when they said they were on their way I suddenly said, ‘My stomach is fine, the jelly wobbles.
“What a wonderful thing, what a lovely, lovely couple.”
Brian Conley, who plays Terry Cant in the soap opera, wore a union jack suit in honor of the Queen’s Jubilee.
After speaking with Camilla, he told the PA news agency: “I explained that I was wearing a nylon suit and she said she had hand warmers inside her gloves and that ‘she didn’t want to shake my hand too hard in case I caught fire with all the static, which was very funny.
“It’s not like they rush and rush, they spend a lot of time here meeting everyone, not just in front of the camera but behind it.”
Danny Dyer, who plays Mick Carter on the show, also sat down with Camilla, explaining he will be leaving the show after nine years.
“I used to do movies before I got into the soap business, but I’m leaving this year… Maybe I’ll come back, who knows,” he said.
Camilla asked Dyer about his exit story, to which he said, “Listen, this is going to be big.”
Dyer later admitted he hadn’t spoken to Charles about his Who Do You Think You Are episode, which revealed he was related to royalty.
He said, “It’s not going well, is it? I don’t think they would believe me. I’ve met Charles before and let him down, he just looked at me strangely but I guess we’re related.
“I’m 147,000 (online) on the throne, not that I googled it.
“Very random to see the royals, you know, up close, they were very lovely, really talkative, they have crazy faces when you’re close.
“So excited to have them here, meet them and introduce them to the Square.”
Actress Kellie Bright, who plays Dyer’s on-screen wife, Linda Carter, added, “It was just a really special moment.
“I mean everyone’s been through a pandemic for the past few years, it’s just a good thing to be able to do something like this again.”
After meeting Charles, Natalie Cassidy, who plays Sonia Fowler, told the PA news agency he was “so kind and lovely”.
“I said I’ve been here a long time, since 1993, 29 years now and then, and he said, ‘Oh wow, that’s amazing’ and he said, ‘You were so small, how did you ‘did you feel when you came here?’
“I just said sometimes it’s easier being 10, you don’t really know what you’re getting into, and we kinda laughed and he was really, really adorable.
“Actually, Camilla, although I didn’t meet and greet her, she came and walked over to me and was like, ‘I know you, you’ve been in it a long time, haven’t you? ‘ so that was really nice.
“They were very into every aspect and I think that’s what’s amazing about them, they make every conversation fresh,” she added.
Tameka Empson, who plays the character Kim Fox, added that Charles commented on the feather boa she was wearing and asked, “What happened to the chicken?”
In 2001, the Queen visited soap queen Dame Barbara Windsor, who played Peggy Mitchell, on the set of EastEnders.
The royal visitor walked behind the Queen Vic, strolled around Albert Square and into the EastEnders Street Market, meeting the stars of the show.