Unless you've been living on a different planet lately, then you'll know the big news in EastEnders right now is that their royal highnesses Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are to make a cameo appearance.
The royal couple will be part of an episode airing on Thursday, June 2nd when they visit Albert Square as the residents are having a party to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s platinum jubilee.
Charles and Camilla visited the EastEnders set at the end of March, and news reports at the time showed them meeting cast and crew — with Prince Charles memorably offering a chilly Letitia Dean (Sharon Watts) his coat.
The pair’s upcoming appearance was secretly filmed on the same day.
Now, actress Kellie Bright, who plays Linda Carter, has given some inside info on what fans can expect to see.
Explains the star, “Mick has applied to be part of ‘The Big Jubilee Lunch’ and gets a phone call saying ‘You have been randomly selected to have a visit on the day by Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.’
“He’s not allowed to tell anyone, but he does share it with Linda, who is a huge royalist. So they are the only ones who know they are getting this visit, and it’s about pulling out all the stops because they know it’s going be an extra special day.”
She continues, “It was filmed ‘as live’ so we only had one go, and it was treated for Charles and Camilla like a normal ‘meet and greet.’
“When they arrived, there was an impromptu round of applause from us, which hadn’t been scripted. And then I looked after Charles, and Danny (Dyer, who plays Mick) looked after Camilla, and we essentially guided them around the square, in character.
“We introduced them to different people, and we had a cake and unveiled a plaque. For Linda, all her Christmases have come at once. It was all a bit improvised but very exciting.”
Bright describes Charles and Camilla as being “really good sports” and adds that there were no rules on the day as regards royal etiquette.
“They were unbelievably accommodating,” she reveals. “It all came down to our characters and what we felt they would do at that moment.
“So of course, Linda would curtsy, but there were other characters who wouldn’t necessarily do that or know the etiquette about how to address them.
“Whatever your opinion of the royals, I think it will be an amazing, unmissable bit of television. I feel really lucky to be a part of it.”
This isn’t Kellie Bright’s first brush with royalty. The star previously met Charles in 2001 during 50th-anniversary celebrations for The Archers. Kellie played Kate Madikane (née Aldridge) in the Radio 4 soap from 1995 to 2004.
“We had a party at St James’s Palace. He was there hosting, and I got to meet him,” she says.
Co-star Danny Dyer, of course, has royal connections.
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.
She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way.
There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.
When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.
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