Queen’s death made me homesick, but also proud of where I came from

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

The Welsh actress, 52, said the monarch was “a real inspiration” and a figure of “power and respect”.

Tributes to famous faces from home and abroad came after the Queen’s death was announced on Thursday.

Walpole British Luxury Awards 2017

The Welsh actress said the monarch was ‘a real inspiration’ and a figure of ‘power and respect’ (PA)

Speaking at Disney’s D23 Expo on Saturday, Zeta-Jones said she called her family at home and “felt like a little piece of me was gone.”

“I’m a huge royalist and I love the royal family and what they do for our country,” she told the PA news agency.

“As a girl growing up in Wales, in Britain, in the United Kingdom, I had my mother who was the strongest and most secure 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 theme of the day, but a woman who was a real inspiration.

“I’m in a country that has never had a woman as a leader, power and respect and that’s why I will miss her very much.”

She continued, “I kept calling my mom on FaceTime and I was like, ‘Do you feel how I feel?’ and they said yes.

“I don’t know if it’s because I’m British, but I just felt like a little bit of me went away.”

“There will never be another queen in my life, but it was a very strange feeling. (I was) very homesick, very proud of where I came from.”

Zeta-Jones told PA she believes King Charles would do “an exceptional job” when “the baton was passed”.

Cannes Joanne Whalley

Joanne Whalley, star of the 1988 fantasy film Willow and the 2022 sequel of the same name, said the news “stopped me” (Anthony Harvey/PA).

Warwick Davis, known for his roles in Star Wars and various British comedy series, paid tribute to the Queen as someone “who essentially gave her life for us”.

“I was very, very saddened to hear of her passing,” he told the AP at D23.

“I’m a royalist, I respect the monarchy and I think it’s a great thing for the UK to have a monarchy.

“I would have liked to have met Her Majesty but unfortunately I did not get the opportunity but I have been to royal events at Buckingham Palace in the past which have been lovely.

“She’s someone who essentially sacrificed her life for us and made the world a better place in general.”

Joanne Whalley, Davies’ co-star in the 1988 fantasy film Willow and the 2022 sequel of the same name, said the news “stopped me.”

“I didn’t know what to think because it’s the unthinkable,” the English actress told PA on D23.

“I think a lot of people think the same thing, whether you agree with the monarchy or whatever.

“All politics aside… what a woman. It’s so ingrained in all of our experiences. We all share this symbol forever.

“I don’t think we’ve all digested it yet. What a sad, sad day.”

Back in Britain, other British acting talent including Daniel Craig, Dick Van Dyke, Stephen Fry, Dame Joanna Lumley and Dame Helen Mirren celebrated the monarch and her contribution to the nation.

Music stars like Sir Elton John, Sir Rod Stewart and Sir Paul McCartney have all reflected on their encounters and experiences performing for the Queen.

Sir Paul shared decades of intimate memories with the monarch, who “flooded back” after her death, which spanned from 1965 to 2018, as he “made her giggle lightly”.

Theater - Royal Variety Performance - Palladium, London

Dame Vera Lynn’s daughter says her mother would have been ‘terribly upset’ at the news of the Queen’s death as she had known her since the monarch’s 16th birthday (PA)

Sir Elton dedicated his final live show in Toronto to the Queen on Thursday, as did pop megastar Harry Styles, who encouraged audiences at his Madison Square Garden show to applaud the monarch’s seven decades of service.

Dame Vera Lynn’s daughter, Victoria Lewis-Jones, said her mother was “terribly upset” at 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 experience with the monarch and their shared commitment to charity work.

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