The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II has already gone down in history as a once-in-a-lifetime event, with huge praise reaped on both the organisers and the tireless broadcasters coordinating events and beaming them across the world. All except.
Two Australian commentators, Tracey Grimshaw and Peter Overton, working for the Channel Nine network were clearly caught on the hop as they were tasked with naming the high-profile arrivals at Westminster Abbey for the State Funeral service of Her Majesty.
Having announced the likes of US President Joe Biden, French premier Emmannuel Macron and other world dignitaries, they presumably thought their work was done, until a couple appeared out of their vehicle at the front of the Abbey and made their way inside.
Australian presenters Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw unable to identify UK PM Liz Truss. pic.twitter.com/uG0eQPqBqN
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Grimshaw asked: “Who’s this?”
“Hard to identify,” Overton replied. “Maybe, uh, minor royals … I can’t identify them at this point.”
“We can’t spot everyone,” Grimshaw said.
They must have been surprised when Truss took to the lectern to give a reading in her capacity as PM but, to be fair to the commentators, Truss had only been in power for two days by the time of the Queen’s death on September 8. In fact, the Queen’s meeting with Truss in Balmoral, Scotland, was her very final public duty of state after 70 years as monarch. And the slightly more familiar figure of Boris Johnson, now the UK’s ex-prime minister had already passed through the door.
The BBC didn’t make quite the same mistake in return. As the Australian fairly new premier Anthony Albanese arrived at the same door, they didn’t get his name wrong, they just kept quiet.
And, in the scale of the event, which involved thousands of guests, mourners, military personnel, security forces at three locations with processions between each of them over the course of the day, it was a fairly minor lapse in the scheme of things.