Belfast Telegraph

Joan Collins celebrated damehood with song

Dame Joan Collins found it hard not to tell people about her new title once she learnt about it.

The 81-year-old actress was made a dame in Britain's Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's Honours list this year thanks to her charity work. She and her husband Percy Gibson celebrated by taking some of their nearest and dearest for dinner.

"We took 14 of our closest friends to the Wolseley restaurant in London - and I have to make a public apology to the other diners there that night if our loud rendition of Their is Nothing Like a Dame disturbed them," Percy laughed to British magazine Hello!

Joan had known she was going to be made a dame for some time before the announcement. But she nearly missed out on the honour as she didn't reply to a letter in time due to a mix up. Luckily she still made the grade and she found it hard that she couldn't immediately shout it from the rooftops.

"We were given strict orders not to tell anybody. Somehow one of the papers leaked the story and I was petrified. I'd heard that some have had their honours rescinded when it ended up in the press. People were calling and emailing me after they read the story and I had to ignore their messages. It was quite an intense three weeks," she said.

Making the honour even more special for Joan is that she is very pro the monarchy. She is proud to have met the queen several times and has always been impressed by the monarch.

"She's very warm and human. The last time I saw her was at the Palace, at a gala charity for Rada. She talked quite knowledgeably about the theatre. She's such an inspiration to everybody - people don't know how hard it is to meet 400 people a day, shake their hands and talk to them... I'm a staunch monarchist and I think that she is magnificent," she gushed.

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