Dame Kelly Holmes was left in tears seconds into her debut on the Loose Women panel. It was announced last week that double Olympic Champion would be joining the ITV lunchtime show from Monday (September 12). However, the programme has been off air since the death of the Queen was announced.
Loose Women last aired last Thursday afternoon, September 8, hours before it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II had died peacefully at Balmoral, aged 96. The news was broken with a brief statement from Buckingham Palace but many broadcasters had already switched to rolling news coverage after it was announced, just after lunchtime that same day, that doctors were concerned for the monarch's health.
Since then, various special news programmes and documentaries have aired paying tribute to the late Queen as the country entered a 10 period of national mourning. Good Morning Britain made a return to screens over the weekend and has continued to air every morning from 6am.
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Meanwhile, This Morning returned on Monday with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield hosting a series of special programmes in honour of Her Majesty. But today (Thursday), Loose Women returned to screens for the first time. Ruth Langsford anchored the show and was joined by Dame Kelly, Brenda Edwards and Jane Moore.
The ladies dedicated the show to the late monarch, sharing how they felt when they heard the news of the Queen's passing and their memories of the country's longest-reigning monarch.
After introducing the opening segment, Ruth told viewers: "We have already got Kelly in tears. I've got the tissues ready." It came after Loose Women opened with a tribute to the Queen, accompanied by the Dame Vera Lynn track, The White Cliffs Of Dover.
Speaking about her first appearance on the show as a panelist, sporting star Kelly said: "I am really fortunate to be here today. It's a memorable moment to have the opportunity to speak about the Queen. Even the footage set me off."
And there were later more tears on the panel as Brenda shared the private, handwritten letter she had received from King Charles III, when still Prince of Wales, following the death of her son. Jamal Edwards died from a cardiac arrest at home in February.
The DJ and founder of online R&B/Hip-Hop platform SB.TV was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity headed up by the former Prince of Wales, and therefore met him on numerous occasions. And in 2014, Jamal was made an MBE for his services to music.
Brenda recalled how, following her son's tragic death, she answered the door to a "very well dressed" gentleman who was holding a bouquet of white roses and asked if he could speak to 'Ms Edwards'. "I was quite nervous because this looked quite formal," Brenda recalled. "I thought, 'What have I done? I haven't done anything!'"
He then handed over the letter, which was addressed to herself and her daughter, Tanisha. But she only realised where it was from when she saw the Clarance House logo to which she said she then began to shake. Brenda also agreed to read out the letter.
In it, the new King wrote how he wanted to share his "deepest sympathy" with Brenda and her daughter, Tanisha. He said he would "never forget Jamal's dedication and support in helping with my Prince’s Trust over the years," before saying he was "greatly respected and liked by my Trust's staff, supporters and young people who he met during the many years of his involvement."
He also wrote: "I have such fond memories of the time I met him and can ill afford to lose someone in this country someone as exceptionally special as your dear son."
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