The Queen Consort told the UK’s Eurovision hopeful Mae Muller “No nul points” when she joined the King in unveiling the contest’s spectacular stage.
Charles and Camilla, who are busy preparing for their coronations, visited Liverpool and lit up the arena hosting the global show, which will crown a national winner on Saturday May 13.
Eurovision 2023 managing director Martin Green said the royal couple expressed “interest” in the event, and he dubbed the week between the coronation and the song contest’s grand final “the most extraordinary seven days”.
Chatting to the singer, who hopes her track, I Wrote A Song, will end the UK’s 25-year wait for victory, Charles gave her encouragement, saying: “We will be watching you with great interest – egging you on.”
Muller replied: “Thank you, no pressure. No nul points”, and Camilla echoed her words, saying: “No! No nul points.”
The royal couple set off a glittering light show in the Liverpool Arena after they were counted down by an invited audience and pushed a large button.
It will be the first time the competition has been held in the UK for 25 years.
Mr Green, who hosted the royal visit, said of the period from the May 6 coronation to Eurovision the following Saturday: “Arguably, it’s the most extraordinary seven days that we’ve had for a long time – two really important parts of our culture being broadcast to the globe.
“I just think we’ll all just fall over at the end, but it’s going to be a really exciting week.”
Ms Waddingham said to the Queen Consort: “I can’t believe you are both here given what you have coming up next week, thank you so much.
“You’ll have to put yourselves in a darkened room afterwards and try and switch off.”
Camilla nodded her head enthusiastically in agreement.
The couple were joined by Tim Davie, BBC director-general, during their tour which took them into a props department which was off limits to the press to preserve some surprises for the big night.
To mark the visit Blue Peter presenters Abby Cook, Joel Mawhinney and Mwaksy Mudenda presented the couple with gold Blue Peter badges – the programme’s highest award.
The couple were quizzed by some young badge winners and one schoolboy asked about coronation celebrations and which of the events the king was “most looking forward to”.
“That’s a very difficult question,” replied Charles, who added: “All of them, I hope it gives enormous pleasure to other people.”
A little girl asked if he watched Blue Peter when a boy: “Yes I did, can you believe it, and a lot of other ones which are no longer existing, sadly.”
The Central Library will give assistance to its Ukraine counterpart as the country rebuilds following the destruction caused by the invasion by Russia.
A group of anti-royal protestors held, ‘Not My King’ banners and booed as the royal party arrived in blazing sunshine, but the jeers were drowned out by cheers as hundreds more well-wishers clapped and waved Union Flags as the royal party arrived.
Both Charles and Camilla then went walkabout, chatting and shaking hands with members of the public.
Before entering the library, Camilla visited a bookstand outside, part of a Eurovision-linked drive to increase reading, where she was invited to write on a chalkboard, her suggested, ‘Good Read’.
Camilla, reportedly an avid reader, wrote the title, Love is Blind, by William Boyd.
She visited the library for reading materials, information and advice and it was her suggestion that it twin with the library in Ukraine.
Camila, seated before a group of local schoolchildren, was treated to a re-telling of The Magic Mitten, a Ukrainian folklore tale before an official ceremony to mark the library twinning, in a live video link up to Odesa.
Appearing on the link, the First lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska told the royal visitors that the Russian invasion had destroyed hundreds of libraries in Ukraine.
She added: “I’m greatly honoured to be present at this twinning ceremony. I’m thankful of their majesties, the King and the Queen for their attendance, for the daily friendship and support from them.
“We thank you, Great Britain, for standing with us also on this cultural front line.”
Charles said: “I must stay I find it truly terrifying that more than 300 state and university libraries in Ukraine have been destroyed in recent months and our hearts go out to all those so affected and also how much has been lost in this terrible disaster.
“If it is true to say that the limits of our language are the limits of our world, then the role of libraries is something to be treasured greatly.”
Charles spoke the Ukrainian phrase, ‘A book saves the soul’, before wishing the venture a success.
Councillor Roy Gladden, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, said: “The eyes of the world will be on Liverpool in May and our hearts will be with Ukraine.”