An Australian media outlet did not recognize British Prime Minister Liz Truss when she arrived at Westminster Abbey on Monday for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. The mix-up happened on Channel 9 as it covered the funeral, attended by prime ministers and presidents from around the world.
During the broadcast, when Australian TV presenters Tracy Grimshaw and Peter Overton were told that a “major motorcade” was approaching Westminster Abbey, they struggled to identify who they were watching.
“Who is this?” Mrs Grimshaw asked when Mrs Truss was arriving with her husband Hugh O’Leary. “Hard to identify, maybe underage Royals. I can’t identify them,” Mr Overton replied.
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Australian presenters Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw cannot identify British Prime Minister Liz Truss. pic.twitter.com/uG0eQPqBqN
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Ms Grimshaw then continued: “Unfortunately we can’t see everyone. They look like they could be local dignitaries, it’s hard to see.”
The pair then seemed to realize their mistake as after a short break, Mr Overton told viewers that the mystery guest was in fact British Prime Minister Liz Truss. “I was just told that Liz Truss, the new prime minister in the distance that we could see, jumped out of that car,” he said.
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This on-air gaffe was quickly picked up by internet users who responded with amused response. “To the Australian funeral commentaries, Liz Truss and her husband called them ‘minor royals’ because they didn’t know who they were,” wrote one user.
“Australian media trying to identify Liz Truss as she entered Westminster and doing their best with ‘maybe underage royals’ or ‘local dignitaries’ made me laugh unnecessarily,” wrote another. “Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw having no idea who Liz Truss – the new British Prime Minister – is during the live coverage of the Queen’s funeral was so weird,” the third said.
Liz Truss became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on September 6, two days before the death of Queen Elizabeth II. She replaced Boris Johnson after a summer-long leadership contest.