Britons have reacted with amusement after Australian journalists Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw mistakenly referred to British Prime Minister Liz Truss as a “minor royal” at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday.
Channel Nine’s senior journalists scratched their heads when Truss and her husband Hugh O’Leary climbed out of their car at Westminster Abbey, prompting Overton to speculate, “You must be kings, Tracy.”
A UK Twitter user mocked the on-air blunder, writing: “Australian media trying to identify Liz Truss as she entered Westminster and trying their best with ‘perhaps minor royals’ or ‘local dignitaries’ got me to laugh.”
“I present, for your viewing pleasure, footage of Liz Truss getting out of a car and Australian media saying ‘Who the hell is that?'” wrote another.
Someone else added: “Shouted at the Australian funeral commentators who call Liz Truss and her husband ‘minor royals’ because they don’t know who they are.”
However, Australian feminist writer Jane Caro has claimed that the BBC’s coverage of Her Majesty’s final farewell was not without flaws either.
She suspected that British public broadcaster journalists failed to recognize Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese because he was shown on screen for an extended period of time without being identified by the commentary team.
“BBC is focused on Albo entering the church – it’s clear commenters have no idea who he is,” Caro tweeted.
Overton and Grimshaw flushed after failing to identify Ms Truss during her comment from the Queen‘s funeral.
“So that’s a significant motorcade, we’re now told,” Overton said when Truss arrived.
“Come with us while we try to figure out who gets out of the car. With a police escort, of course. I would suggest that could be a king, Tracy. Difficult to identify. Maybe minor royals, members of the…I can’t identify them at this point…”
“Unfortunately we can’t recognize all of them,” said Grimshaw.
“They look like they could be local dignitaries, it’s hard to tell, we’re mainly looking at the back of their heads.”
Moments later, Overton issued a correction.
‘I’m told that was Liz Truss from afar, the new Prime Minister. She could be seen hopping out of the car. Thank you for that information,” he told viewers.
He conceded to Nine co-stars Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon, as well as royal expert Dickie Arbiter, that their British guest might be better at spotting local famous faces.
“Karl and Ally and Dickie – especially Dickie – you’ll see those faces and recognize them better than we do, I think,” Overton said.
Ms Truss became the last world leader to be pictured with the Queen in her final official duty, just 48 hours before her death.
Britain’s main church, packed with 2,000 VIPs including Prime Ministers, Presidents and the Queen’s family, was calm save for the sound of hymns and prayers at a funeral service Her Majesty herself curated before her death.
Outside the Abbey, an estimated two million people in central London lined the processional routes and watched on big screens.
The State Gun Carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin began its funeral procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey at around 10.45am and arrived just before 11am.
A single toll from Big Ben signaled the start of services at Westminster Abbey, where kings and queens have been crowned and buried since 1066.
Her Majesty was buried in Windsor alongside her beloved husband Prince Philip and her parents George VI and the Queen Mother.