Dec Donnelly left red-faced after royally awkward gaffe in front of Kate Middleton

Ant McPartlin opens up to Kate Middleton about his past addictions

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Dec Donnelly was left taken aback after he prematurely promoted Kate Middleton, by calling her “Her Majesty” in front of a live audience on Tuesday evening. The comic, who was attending the Taking Action on Addiction event for The Forward Trust in London with co-host Ant McPartlin, realised he’d made the error after his peers burst out laughing.

Shortly we’ll be hearing from Her Majesty… err… Her Royal Highness rather!

Dec Donnelly

While introducing the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of her keynote speech at the latest campaign launch, Dec began: “Shortly we’ll be hearing from Her Majesty…”

He trailed off after realising he’d accidentally used the title only reserved for The Queen before he added, stammering: “Err… Her Royal Highness rather!”

But his infamous sense of humour saved the day, as he joked: “I’ve just promoted you there, rather prematurely!”

Ant, who was trying to control his giggles, chimed: “That must happen all the time!”

Dec grinned: “It doesn’t happen to me.

“We’ll be hearing from Her Royal Highness, rather, very shortly.

“Then we’ll watch a very powerful short film that challenges the perception of addictions.”

Earlier on backstage, Ant told the Duchess about his own problems with alcohol and drug addiction, and how they were able to “disappear” after he opened up on his struggles to close friends.

Kate told the ITV presenting duo how she believes society needs to do more to break the stigma for struggling addicts so they can access help.

She said: “The more we speak to everybody, and actually some of the stories today, the feeling of a burden that we have to carry, [it’s like] a secret event.

“And actually once you start sharing your stories, there are so many people who have either experienced it themselves or know someone who has gone through it.

Ant replied: “I found that myself. By the time I asked for help it was really, it was bad, but as soon as you opened up to people, problems have got to disappear and it gets better and help is there.”

In her keynote speech, the Duchess called for compassion and empathy for those who are struggling with addiction.

She said: “Addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict. But it can happen to any one of us. None of us are immune.

“Yet it’s all too rarely discussed as a serious mental health condition. And seldom do we take the time to uncover and fully understand its fundamental root causes.

“The journey towards addiction is often multi-layered and complex. But, by recognising what lies beneath addiction, we can help remove the taboo and shame that sadly surrounds it.

“As a society, we need to start from a position of compassion and empathy. Where we nurture those around us, understand their journey, and what has come before them.”

Kate also talked about the effect of the pandemic and how the number struggling with addiction is higher than ever before, as she noted: “We know that over one and a half million people across the UK who did not have substance misuse prior to lockdown, may now be experiencing problems associated with increased alcohol consumption.

“Around two million individuals who were identified as being in recovery, may have experienced a relapse over the past 18 months.

“And almost one million young people and children are showing an increase in addictive behaviour since the pandemic began.”

She went on to state she fully supports the work of the charity, adding: “Yet, there is hope. Over the last ten years, I have had the privilege of meeting many incredible people who have lived through the harsh realities of addiction.

“Through their own hard work, and with the help from communities and charities, such as The Forward Trust, lives really are being turned around.

“These are stories of healing, of hope and recovery, that can inspire us all.

“I fully support The ‘Taking Action on Addiction’ campaign to improve awareness and understanding of addiction.

“The campaign will show us that, not only do many people recover from addiction, they can go on to prosper.”

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