Charles narrowly avoids igniting soap opera rivalries at investiture ceremony

The Prince of Wales narrowly avoided igniting old soap opera rivalries, confusing EastEnders with Coronation Street, as he presented honours at the second royal investiture ceremony since national lockdown.

Rudolph Walker, who plays Queen Vic stalwart Patrick Trueman, said Charles had been “extremely relaxing” but had briefly mixed up the dramas.

Mr Walker, 81, who was made a CBE for services to drama and charity on Thursday, said the prince had apologised immediately and that it had all been “very lighthearted”.

“He was interested in the show, he knew that I had been in it for a long time and that, here I am at the ripe young age of 81, going on to 82, still doing it and still enjoying it,” he told the PA news agency.

“It was very relaxing, he made us feel extremely relaxed and he was interested in the fact that I am still plodding on.

“He spoke about Coronation Street and I said ‘No, no, you’re talking about the opposition. Let’s talk about EastEnders’.

“He just laughed and said ‘I do understand, I do apologise’ but it was done very lightheartedly.”

Mr Walker said that he had extended the offer of a drink in the Queen Vic to Charles.

“He visited Coronation Street some time ago apparently and I said ‘well the invitation is there for your royal highness to visit EastEnders’.

Investitures at St James’s Palace
EastEnders actor Rudolph Walker and his daughter Sheona Walker (Victoria Jones/PA)

“You never know.”

Mr Walker added that he had not “in my wildest dreams” imagined he would receive the honour.

“My message to all the youngsters is if I can do it, so can they. Things are tough but everything is achievable,” he said.

“Who would have thought that when I set sail for the shores of the UK in 1960 that I’d be at St James’s Palace receiving an award.

“Not in my wildest dreams.

“It sends a message to the people in the UK but also young people in the Caribbean. But there is still a long way to go.”