The Australian comedian Barry Humphries died at the age of 89 after he underwent hip replacement surgery, but had to be readmitted to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney earlier this week following complications.
Barry, who is best known for his role Dame Edna Everage, died on Saturday night as tributes poured in for the beloved star.
The comic was very friendly with the Royal Family and left King Charles and Camilla in stitches when he sneaked into the royal box during the Royal Variety Performance in 2013.
A spokesperson for the royals said Charles was “saddened” by the death of his long-time friend and was “writing to the Mr Humphries family as we speak”.
According to reports, Charles spoke with Barry while he was in the hospital hours before his death.
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Barry’s pal Rowan Dean told Sky News Australia: “Yesterday King Charles the third spoke to Barry Humphries on the phone shortly before Barry passed away.”
He added the comic “would not want people to be in mourning” as he urged fans to “celebrate” his life instead.
Rowan continued: “I spoke to Barry on the phone only a couple of days ago and as usual he was cracking jokes. I also saw him in hospital about 10 days ago and he had us in stitches.”
A spokesman for St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, David Faktor, said: “I can confirm Barry Humphries passed away this evening Sydney time, around 7pm on Saturday evening.”
Following the news of his hospitalisation, the Australian comedian’s family released a statement to Australia’s 10 News First earlier today.
The statement read: “Barry Humphries is currently in hospital receiving treatment for health issues.
“Barry would like to thank everybody for the support and good wishes he’s received but would like more and more.”
It continued: “He would also like to thank the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff at St Vincent’s Hospital.”
Tributes to the beloved star poured in as the world mourns a comedy icon.
Barry’s long-standing friendships with the British royals saw him appear at Royal Variety shows and a Prince’s Trust concert.
He is also said to have been a favourite of the late Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother.
In 2008, Barry said the person he admired most in the world was the then Prince Charles as “he does a great deal of good work without anyone knowing about it”.
The soon to be appointed monarch is said to have been a particular fan of Barry’s other famous character, Sir Les Patterson.