Prince Charles paid a secret visit to Joan Washington before her death.
Richard E Grant, 64, has revealed that the heir to the British throne came to see his wife Joan in August, and although she was very ill with stage four lung cancer, she still managed to crack jokes.
Writing in the Daily Mail newspaper, Richard said: “Prince Charles came to see ‘The Colonel’ last month, sat beside her, took her hand and said, ‘It’s been an absolute honour to have known you, Joan’ to which she instantly quipped, ‘I’m STILL here.’ Which broke the ice and made all three of us cackle. Astonishingly, unlike me, she’s never been star struck and possessed the innate gift of speaking to everyone of any age or status as her equal.”
Richard also revealed that their pal Nigella Lawson cooked for them every week for the past eight months while Joan – who he married in 1986 – was sick.
He wrote: “It’s been my pleasure to cook twice a day for her over the past eight months, except for Sundays when our pal Nigella (Lawson) cooked, baked and Uber-ed her favourites over to us. Generosity and friendship beyond measure.”
Joan – who had 32-year-old daughter Olivia with Richard and son Tom from a previous relationship – was diagnosed two days before Christmas and Richard paid tribute to the medical team who looked after her.
He said: “She was accepting, clear sighted, sanguine and totally without self-pity.
“The oncology team at the Royal Marsden Hospital, NHS nurses, Price’s Mill Surgery and Longfield palliative carers have been beyond exemplary.”
Joan – who was from Aberdeen and trained at London’s Central School of Speech – was a vocal coach for almost four decades in the film industry, working with the likes of Anne Hathaway, Vanessa Redgrave and Emma Stone.
As well as working on ‘Yentl’ and ‘The Bounty’ in the 1980s, she was recently involved with ‘The Witches’ and ‘The Favourite’.