Dame Shirley: A gong from the King is more nerve-racking than singing

Shirley Bassey

Posted: 1:20 PM BST, July 9, 2024 | Revised: 12:26 AM BST, July 10, 2024

Singer Dame Shirley Bassey admitted she felt more anxious receiving an award from King Charles than she does when she performs in front of him. This revelation came after a special event at Windsor Castle.

The 87-year-old Welsh singer joked that she forgot to curtsy when receiving an award from him. She said it was more stressful to be honored by him than to perform in front of him.

Dame Shirley was honored with the title of Companion of Honour in the New Year Honours list for her contributions to the field of music.

This was the singer's initial encounter with Charles as King, who has performed in three James Bond films.

I am trying out something new and different, even though I have been singing since I was a kid.

Dame Shirley Bassey and King Charles were both at Windsor Castle, where the singer was given a special honor.

Dame Shirley received a prestigious medal, the Companion of Honour, for her contributions to music.

Shirley and Prince Charles sharing a laugh at a club in Caerphilly in 1978.

Lady Shirley went to the event wearing a shiny black and white Isabell Kristensen dress that the queen liked.

I inquired about his well-being, to which he replied that he was doing well and complemented me by saying, "You look fantastic."

"He gave me his best wishes and then I took hold of him - I know I shouldn't have done that. But I held onto both of his hands and said, 'I wish you the best'."

In 1999, Shirley was awarded the title of Dame Shirley in recognition of her contributions and achievements. She expressed gratitude for the many years of wonderful experiences she has had.

I believe that singing for the Queen at the Royal Variety Show for the first time was my most glamorous performance.

After that, I did a lot more and didn't really care.

But Dame Shirley showed great elegance in accepting her award today.

She expressed that being awarded the Order of the Companions of Honour is one of the most amazing experiences. Music has always been by her side throughout her life.

Lady Shirley, along with her daughter Sharon, her grandson Sebastian, and his daughter Sofia, visited Windsor Castle.

Lady Shirley clasps the hand of the King while exchanging a brief conversation at the awards ceremony.

When I was a young girl in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, I used to fantasize about exploring different parts of the world. I never thought that my voice would eventually lead me to where I am today.

Delighting crowds for more than seven decades has been an honor. My heart is filled with feelings and I am sincerely grateful.

When questioned about being called an icon, she responded, "It can feel great at times, but also lonely and bothersome - especially when strangers unexpectedly join you at your table in a restaurant."

When questioned about her favorite diva, Dame Shirley initially considered saying Ella Fitzgerald, but ultimately confessed that Ella was not a diva. She described Ella as grounded and comfortable, with none of the typical diva behavior.

Instead, she determined that Madonna won first place.

But Dame Shirley also enjoys the finer things in life, as she often requests pink champagne and caviar through room service.

"That would be the final dinner before I die," she teased.

For those who may have been unsure of her style preferences, when asked what type of accessory she would be, she confidently responded with "A diamond."

Another person receiving recognition on Tuesday is Sam Curran, a professional cricketer from Surrey and England. He was awarded an MBE in the 2023 Birthday Honours.

A key member of the England squad that emerged victorious in the 2022 T20 World Cup, the 26-year-old was the top wicket-taker for England during the tournament and was recognized as the Player of the Tournament.

Scottish chef Adam Handling, who is well-known in the celebrity world, is set to receive a prestigious MBE in Windsor for his contributions to the hospitality industry and international trade.

Handling was crowned the champion of the popular cooking competition, Great British Menu, in 2023 and also made it to the final round of MasterChef: The Professionals back in 2013.

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