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Wales Online
Wales Online
Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent & Shane Jarvis

Catherine Zeta-Jones says Queen’s death made her homesick for Wales

Catherine Zeta-Jones says she felt like she had lost a real family member following the death of the Queen and that the news had made her homesick but “proud of my heritage”.

The Welsh actress, 52, said the monarch had been “a real inspiration” and a figure of “power and respect”. She has joined the many tributes from famous faces that have poured in from home and abroad following the announcement of the Queen’s death on Thursday.

Speaking at the Disney’s D23 Expo on Saturday, Swansea-born Zeta-Jones said she had called her family back home and “felt like a little piece of me had gone”. She told the PA news agency: “I’m a big royalist and I love the royal family and what they do for our country.

READ MORE: Sir Tom Jones and Dame Shirley Bassey among Welsh stars to share touching tributes to the Queen

“As a girl growing up in Wales, in Britain, in the UK, I had my mum who was the strongest, safest person to be with but I also had a Queen. And I don’t just mean that she was a Queen sitting on a throne, we’re at Disney where queens and princesses are the topic du jour, but a woman who was a real inspiration.

“I’m in a country that has never had a woman as a figure of leadership, of power and of respect, and so I shall miss her dearly. I kept calling my mother on FaceTime and going ‘do you feel how I feel?’ and they said ‘yeah’.

“I don’t know whether it’s because I’m British but I just felt like a little piece of me had gone. There will never be a queen in my lifetime again, but it was a very strange feeling. (I felt) very homesick, very proud of my heritage.” Zeta-Jones said that she believed King Charles would do “an exceptional job” as “the baton was passed”.

READ MORE: Catherine Zeta-Jones shares beautiful video of her family dancing

Zeta-Jones grew up in Mumbles. Her father David owned a sweet factory and her mother Patricia was a Seamstress. She was educated at the Dumbarton House School, a private school in Swansea.

Joanne Whalley, star of the 1988 fantasy film Willow and the 2022 follow-up series of the same name, said the news had “stopped me in my tracks”. The English actress told PA at D23: “I didn’t know what to think because it’s the unthinkable. I think a lot of people think the same, whether you agree with the monarchy or whatever.

“All politics aside… what a woman. It’s so ingrained in all our experiences. We all share this symbol for good. I don’t think we’ve all digested it yet. What a sad, sad day.”

Back in the UK, other British acting talent including Daniel Craig, Stephen Fry, Dame Joanna Lumley and Dame Helen Mirren all hailed the monarch and her contribution to the nation. Musical stars including Sir Elton John, Sir Rod Stewart and Sir Paul McCartney all reflected on their encounters and experiences of performing for the Queen.

Dame Vera Lynn meeting the Queen in November 1973 (PA)

Sir Paul shared decades of intimate memories with the monarch that had come “flooding back” after her death, which stretched from 1965 to 2018, when he had made her “giggle slightly”. Sir Elton dedicated his final live show in Toronto on Thursday to the Queen, as did pop megastar Harry Styles, who encouraged audiences at his show at Madison Square Garden to applaud the monarch’s seven decades of service.

Dame Vera Lynn’s daughter, Victoria Lewis-Jones, said her mother would have been “terribly upset” about the news of the monarch’s death, having known her since the late monarch’s 16th birthday. In a statement shared with PA, Ms Lewis-Jones recalled her mother’s experiences with the monarch and their shared dedication to charitable work.

For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.


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