Nine presenter Peter Overton defends awkward gaffe during Queen's funeral

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Channel Nine presenter Peter Overton has defended his on-air gaffe after he and Tracy Grimshaw failed to recognise UK Prime Minister Liz Truss.

The veteran TV personalities were covering the Queen's funeral in London on Monday, and when the British PM arrived at Westminster Abbey, they misidentified her as a "minor royal".

The blunder did not go unnoticed and was ridiculed online, with many taking to Twitter where they mocked the Aussie presenters.

Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw
Channel 9 hosts Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw were slammed over the awkward blunder. Source: Facebook/ACA

"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,"one said.

"Yelling at the Australian funeral commentators calling Liz Truss and her husband 'minor royals'," said another.

But now, Overton has responded to claims he did not know who Ms Truss was and in a tweet on Tuesday, and explained what really happened.

"We were relying on a video feed for live stream of arrivals. At times the video would freeze so we’d turn around to try to catch a glimpse," he said.

"I do know what British PM, Liz Truss looks like. The back of her hat, not so much!"

The awkward moment got mixed reviews from viewers. While some considered it to be the "best" of the night, others dubbed it "toe-curling".

"Stop digging Pete! Embarrassing! It was at that exact moment everyone changed channels," one shot back at Overton's Tweet.

"Surely the go to plan when you don’t know is…say NOTHING!" added a second.

Awkward moments from Queen's funeral

The epic event, viewed by approximately 4.1 billion people, was not without a series of questionable moments, which all got people talking online during the broadcast.

While the Nine presenters failed to recognise the new British PM, who was sworn in just two days before the monarch's death, the BBC hosts made no comment on the arrival of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, suggesting they did not recognise him.

Anthony Albanese with partner and UK's new Prime Minister, Liz Truss
It seems the BBC did not recognise Anthony Albanese and Nine presenters could not initially identify the UK's new Prime Minister, Liz Truss. Source: Twitter/Getty

Twitter users were also quick to point out Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's seating arrangement, with theories flowing as to why the Sussexes were in the second row, while other prominent members of the royal family sat front and centre.

Some eagle-eyed fans also noticed that Denmark's Princess Mary was missing from the funeral, despite her husband Crown Prince Frederik and Queen Margrethe travelling to London for the Westminster Abbey ceremony.

While it the Aussie princess was originally invited, with the Danish royal family confirming the news, it's since been revealed her invitation was made by mistake and it was eventually retracted.

More on the Queen's funeral:

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