Dame Shirley Bassey so nervous she 'grabbed' King Charles

Dame Shirley Bassey received the Companion of Honour credit:Bang Showbiz
Dame Shirley Bassey received the Companion of Honour credit:Bang Showbiz

Dame Shirley Bassey was so nervous when she picked up an honour from King Charles, she "forgot to curtsy".

The 87-year-old singer was made a Companion of Honour by the monarch at Windsor Castle on Tuesday (09.07.24) and she admitted she was more scared of accepting the accolade - which has previously been awarded to the likes of Sir David Attenborough and J.K. Rowling - than she's been about singing for the royal family.

She told reporters: "I think it’s more nerve-racking to receive the award from him than to sing in front of him. I mean, it’s new, different, whereas singing I’ve been doing since I was a child.

“I forgot to curtsy, but that’s why I grabbed his hands because I forgot to curtsy. Instinctive.”

The 'Diamonds Are Forever' singer - who was joined at the ceremony by her daughter Sharon, grandson Sebastian and great-granddaughter Sofia - was aware she "shouldn't" have broken protocol.

She said: "I asked how he was, and he said he was fine and said, 'You look wonderful.'

"He wished me all the best and then I grabbed him - I know I shouldn't have done that. But I grabbed both his hands and said, 'I wish you well'."

Shirley believes the most glamorous moment of her life was the first time she sang for the late Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Variety Performance.

She said: "I've had 70 years of glamorous moments.

"I think the first time I sang for the Queen at the Royal Variety - my very first show. And then I did quite a few after and was very blase about it."

Shirley - who received her damehood in 1999 - previously admitted she had been "truly humbled" to be awarded the Companion of Honour.

She said: "Receiving the Order of the Companions of Honour is just one of the most wonderful feelings. Music has been a constant companion in my life.

"As a little girl growing up in Tiger Bay, I would dream of travelling the world and never imagined that one day my voice would take me to where I am now.

"Entertaining audiences for over 70 years has been a privilege. My heart is full of emotion and I am truly humbled."