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Duchess of Cornwall joins friends paying tribute to the 'magnificent Mortimer'

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Prince Charles' wife was among loved ones and friends at the memorial service at London's Southwark Cathedral
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 Photo: © Getty Images

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Emilia Fox, carrying a friend's baby, was also paying tribute
 Photo: © Rex

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Sir John's son Ross (second right), whom he only discovered he had four years before he died, joined the author's other children Sally, Jeremy, Rosie and his widow Penny (centre)
 Photo: © PA

18 NOVEMBER 2009

There was a meeting of royalty, Oscar-winners and theatre impresarios this week as friends and family of Sir John Mortimer came together to pay tribute to the late barrister, playwright and novelist.

But the presence of the son Sir John only discovered existed four years before his death, put the presence of A-list guests like the Duchess of Cornwall and actor Jeremy Irons in the shade.

Ross Bentley, 48, and his actress mum Wendy Craig - who had a relationship with the married Rumpole Of The Bailey creator in the Sixties – joined Sir John's other family at his memorial service at Southwark Cathedral.

And along with his widow Wendy and children Sally, Jeremy and Rosie, there were famous faces like Alan Rickman, actress Emilia Fox, and, representing the government, Lord Mandelson.

Unfortunately, John's other daughter, Match Point star Emily Mortimer - who lives in New York with her American husband Alessandro Nivola - was unable to attend because she is heavily pregnant with her second child.

Sir John, known as 'magnificent Mortimer', died in January aged 85. His health had been causing him difficulties for some time. He suffered from bad vision and had been confined to a wheelchair in recent years.

Leading the tributes at the service was his close friend, former Labour leader Neil Kinnock.

"He was trying and tender, provocative and disarming, unsure and swashbuckling, naughty and grave, all at the same time. He was 'magnificent' in his in consistencies," he said.

"He was an adoring family man who cherished all his children, whether he inherited them in his 20s… or Ross, the delightful revelation of John's 81st year."

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