Paul O’Grady’s strange royal encounter with Camilla: ‘Dressed as Child Catcher’


PAUL O’GRADY described a peculiar encounter with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, where he was dressed as the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, in a throwback interview.

With help from the Battersea staff, Mr O’Grady encourages the petrified dog to come out of its shell.

Mr O’Grady was best known for his role as the drag queen Lily Savage in the Eighties, before reinventing himself as a comedian and television presenter the following decade.

The comic went on to host shows such as Blind Date and Top of the Pops, and was ultimately awarded an MBE in 2008.Paul O'Grady

Mr O’Grady described a peculiar first encounter with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (Image: Getty)

Paul O'grady

Mr O’Grady is best known for his role as the drag queen Lily Savage (Image: Getty)


Yet, receiving the honour was not Mr O’Grady’s first interaction with the Royal Family.

Since he shot to prominence he has met a number of royals and, in particular, bestowed praise onto Camilla, who he recalled being “very fond” of from the “first time” he met her.

Mr O’Grady crossed paths with Camilla when he was playing the Child Catcher in a theatre production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Yet the night the Duchess attended, a technical difficulty caused the show to be abruptly halted.

Paul O'Grady

Mr O’Grady praised Camilla for her love of animals (Image: Getty)

In a 2017 interview with the Daily Mirror, Mr O’Grady explained: “I’m very fond of her.

“The first time I met her I was the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the car broke down so they had to stop the show.

“Producer Michael Rose said ‘quick, get up to the green room and say hello’.

“And I’m dressed as the child catcher with the nose and ears and the chin.

Paul O'Grady

Mr O’Grady was speaking after attending an event at Clarence House (Image: Getty)

“She’s so easy to talk to and she’s passionate about animals, which is something else I really respect.”

Mr O’Grady was speaking after attending an event at Clarence House to acknowledge the people the Duchess works with.

The star-studded array of guests included Joanna Lumley, Dame Maggie Smith and Camilla’s former husband Andrew Parker Bowles.

Camilla married Prince Charles in 2005, but received a frosty reception from certain sections of the public with many viewing her as the reason for Charles and Princess Diana’s split in the Nineties.


Camilla married Prince Charles in 2005 (Image: Getty )

However, she has since become a valuable member of the Royal Family, while she is a patron or president of over 90 charities.

When asked about Camilla becoming a member of The Firm later in life, Mr O’Grady said: “It’s taken a lot of guts, you know, it really has.”

He added, laughing: “She could have just sat there watching daytime telly.

“She’s really embraced it and gone for it and all her charity work.”

Watch ‘Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs’ on ITV at 8pm.


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