Dame Joanna Lumley remembers the Queen as ‘all that was kind and fair’

Queen Elizabeth II meets Joanna Lumley during a Reception for Contemporary British Poetry at Buckingham Palace, London (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)
Queen Elizabeth II meets Joanna Lumley during a Reception for Contemporary British Poetry at Buckingham Palace, London (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)

Dame Joanna Lumley has said the Queen represented “all that was kind and fair” as more famous faces from around the world paid tribute to her reign and legacy.

The monarch was fondly remembered as “an inspiration to the world for her lifetime of service” after the death of Britain’s longest-reigning head of state was announced on Thursday evening.

Sir Rod Stewart and Dame Joan Collins were among the British stars reflecting on their encounters with the Queen as a period of mourning begins and the nation grieves for the figurehead.

As well as celebrities, British arts and entertainment institutions including the BBC and Bafta all reflected on the impact the monarch has had on the country.

Dame Joanna remembered the Queen saying she represented “all that was kind and fair, brave and good-hearted, noble and entirely admirable”.

In a statement to the PA news agency, the actress added: “We shall miss her with all our hearts and wish her safe travelling on her final great journey.

“She was adored and respected; and as we send our loving sympathies to all the members of the royal family, we count ourselves lucky to have lived during her long and fabulous reign. God bless her: and long live our great new King.”

Sir Rod revealed it had been a “devastating 48 hours” for him as his brother Don had died aged 94 on Tuesday before the death of the Queen was announced yesterday.

He recalled how the Queen had been “an unwavering presence” throughout his life and “a great unifier” as he paid tribute on Instagram.

The singer, who performed at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert in June, added: “A shining star that will never fade in our hearts and souls.

“What a privilege it was to perform for her. My deepest sympathies to the Royal Family. God save the King.”

British rock band Queen issued a statement on behalf of guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor to Twitter which read: “We send our deepest condolences to the Queen’s family at this very sad time.”

The pair had performed for the monarch on a number of occasions including opening the Platinum Jubilee concert alongside Adam Lambert earlier this year.

May also created a classic moment 20 years ago, during the 2002 Golden Jubilee celebrations, when he performed God Save The Queen on Buckingham Palace’s roof.

Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke shared a black and white image of him shaking hands with the Queen on Twitter, simply captioning the post: “Rest well, Your Majesty”.

Dame Joan revealed she “fell under the spell” of the Queen the first out of the many times she met her.

The Hollywood star, who was made a Dame in 2015, added “my admiration has remained undimmed throughout the years”, as she shared a photo of her alongside the Queen during their younger years.

Ed Sheeran, who performed an emotional rendition of his hit song Perfect to close the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, which was chosen as a tribute to the late monarch and her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, also paid tribute.

The pop superstar posted a black and white photo of the Queen and wrote: “Thank you ma’am x”

In a short tribute posted on Twitter, the former Police frontman Sting, who was made a CBE in 2003, wrote: “I had a quiet weep for the Queen, I am sad for my country and what it has lost.”

Music mogul Simon Cowell said the Queen was a monarch who “managed to balance great leadership, tradition and progression” in his own online tribute, posted to Instagram.

“I’m incredibly sad to hear of the passing of the Queen,” he wrote.

“With incredible strength she was someone who loved her country and was able to lead with so much love.

“I feel very lucky that in my lifetime we have had a Monarch who managed to balance great leadership, tradition and progression.”

Sir Mick Jagger reflected on how the Queen had “always been there” throughout his life as he recalled watching key moments.

He said: “I remember her as a beautiful young lady, to the much-beloved grandmother of the nation. My deepest sympathies are with the royal family.”

Meanwhile, Sir Paul McCartney, 80, shared an image of the Queen in her youth signed by himself, and captioned it simply: “God bless Queen Elizabeth II. May she rest in peace. Long live The King.”

Sir Elton John described the Queen as an “inspiring presence” and said he would “miss her dearly”.

The musical megastar said the Queen had been a huge part of his life “from childhood to this day” in his own online tribute.

Dame Helen Mirren, who portrayed the Queen on the silver screen and on the stage, described the monarch as the “epitome of nobility”.

In a post on Instagram, the Oscar-winning British actress said: “I am proud to be an Elizabethan. We mourn a woman, who, with or without the crown, was the epitome of nobility.”

James Bond star Daniel Craig said the Queen leaves “an incomparable legacy and will be profoundly missed”.

In a statement to the PA news agency, he added: “I, like so many, was deeply saddened by the news today and my thoughts are with the royal family, those she loved and all those who loved her.”

The monarch famously appeared alongside the 007 actor during the opening ceremony for the London Olympics.

Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson also shared a joint statement on Twitter saying: “We join the world in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to her family.”

Former spice girl Mel B echoed the sentiment in her own Instagram post, calling the Queen “an incredible lady who all of us grew up with and had so much respect for”.

Captioning a picture of the monarch meeting the Spice Girls, she added: “I was honoured to meet her, honoured that she awarded me my MBE as patron of Women’s Aid and honoured she was our Queen.”

Other British celebrities paying respects included Ant and Dec, Stephen Fry, Ozzy Osbourne, Sue Perkins, Sir Philip Pullman, and Victoria and David Beckham.

The news was also the subject of several US talk show monologues including The Daily Show, hosted by Trevor Noah, and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Her Majesty was the absolute embodiment of public service. She was a unifying figure across generations, communities and borders, who represented the very best of our nation.

Tim Davie, BBC director-general

Elsewhere, British institutions including Bafta, The National Gallery, The National Theatre and the BBC issued statements paying respects.

The BBC Board issued a statement from director-general Tim Davie in which he reflected on the Queen’s role as a “unifying figure across generations” and said the broadcaster had been honoured to “record and share” moments of her life.

“Her Majesty was the absolute embodiment of public service. She was a unifying figure across generations, communities and borders, who represented the very best of our nation,” the statement read.

“She will always be remembered with the greatest affection and admiration.”

The national anthem was played on BBC One following the announcement, showing a photograph of the Queen, followed by a royal crest on a black background and the words Queen Elizabeth II.

It was also played at the Venice International Film Festival, though screenings continued as normal.

The National Theatre said it was “deeply saddened” by the news of the death of the monarch, who had been a patron of the institution for more than 40 years.

Elsewhere, the 2022 Mercury Prize award, due to take place on Thursday, was postponed due to the news, which the organisation described as a “time of great national sorrow”.