Dame Shirley Bassey receives top honour from King Charles

Dame Shirley Bassey says receiving her latest honour from King Charles III made her more nervous than singing for him.

The 87-year-old Welsh superstar said she “forgot to curtsy” as she was made a Companion of Honour at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The exclusive title is awarded for service of “conspicuous national importance” and is limited to 65 people.

Dame Shirley, who become a dame in the 1999 honours list, said it was the first time meeting the King since he became monarch.

“I think it’s more nerve-racking to receive the award from him than to sing in front of him,” she said.

“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.”

Asked what it was like to be dubbed an icon, she said: “It can be very nice, and it can be very isolating and a nuisance – especially if you’re in a restaurant and people come and sit at your table uninvited.”

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

“I’ve had 70 years of glamorous moments,” she said.

“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.”

The Cardiff-born singer previously said she was “humbled” and “full of emotion” when it was reveleaded she would receive the title in the New Year Honours list.

“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,” she said at the time.

“Every step of my career has been about taking that chance, believing in myself and making that leap.”

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