An Australian media channel failed to recognise British Prime Minister Liz Truss, as she arrived at Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday. The mix-up happened on Channel 9 while it was covering the funeral, attended by prime ministers and presidents from around the globe.
During the broadcast, when Australian TV presenters Tracy Grimshaw and Peter Overton were informed that a “significant motorcade” was approaching Westminster Abbey, they struggled to identify who they were looking at.
“Who is this?” Ms Grimshaw asked when Ms Truss arrived with her husband Hugh O’Leary. “Hard to identify, maybe minor Royals. I can’t identify them,” Mr Overton replied.
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Australian presenters Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw unable to identify UK PM Liz Truss. pic.twitter.com/uG0eQPqBqN
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Ms Grimshaw then continued, “We can’t spot everyone, unfortunately. They look like they could well be local dignitaries, it’s hard to see.”
The pair then appeared to realise their mistake, as after a brief pause Mr Overton told viewers that the mystery guest was in fact the UK Prime Minister Liz Truss. “I’m just told that was Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister in the distance that we could see, hopping out of that car,” he said.
This on-air blunder was quickly picked up by internet users who reacted in amusement. “Telling at the Australian funeral commentaries calling Liz Truss and her husband “minor royals” cause they didn’t know who they were,” wrote one user.
“Australian media trying to identify Liz Truss when she entered Westminster and trying their best with ‘maybe minor royals’ or ‘local dignitaries’ made me unnecessary chuckle,” 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 awks,” commented third.
Liz Truss became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on September 6 – two days before Queen Elizabeth II’s death. She replaced Boris Johson after a summer-long leadership contest.