Prince Charles has paid tribute to the late comedienne Joan Rivers, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 81. The prince and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, who were close friends with Joan, released a statement via Clarence House saying that they were "deeply saddened" to hear of the star's death. "Joan Rivers was an extraordinary woman with an original and indefatigable spirit, an unstoppable sense of humour and an enormous zest for life," said Charles, also speaking on behalf of Camilla.
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Joan Rivers was good friends with Prince Charles who she said was 'a smart man' and 'so far ahead of his time'
He added: "She will be hugely missed and utterly irreplaceable." Charles and Joan struck up an unlikely friendship when they were properly introduced back in 2003 on a painting holiday in the South of France, although they had met before when Joan starred in The Royal Variety Performance in 1996. The pair became good friends and two years later, Joan was one of four Americans who was invited to Charles and Camilla's wedding at Windsor Castle in 2005. She also performed at a gala for the Prince's Trust on the future heir's 60th birthday.
Joan Rivers attended Charles and Camilla's wedding in 2005
Joan had previously spoken praises of the first-in-line to the throne. "He's so charming, so humorous," the late Fashion Police host said. "All the passions that everyone used to laugh at him for – organic food, architecture, talking to the flowers, we're all into those things now. "He is so far ahead of his time, and I think he will be a very good monarch. He is a very smart man and I adore him." Charles even gave Joan permission to scatter the ashes of her friend Tommy over the grounds of Highgrove – his country home in Gloucestershire. "I was at Highgrove and I said that my friend Tommy had died, and I said, 'May I scatter some of his ashes in the garden?'" Joan told HELLO! back in 2011. "He was in shock. But he said, 'Certainly.' I had them in a bag so Tommy is scattered there."
Prince Charles and Joan Rivers backstage at The Royal Variety Performance in 1996
Joan passed away at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York at 1:17pm on Thursday, surrounded by her family and close friends. Her daughter Melissa Rivers said: "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers."
Tributes from Hollywood pour in for Joan Rivers"My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon," she added.