Charles ‘deeply saddened’ by death of Joan Rivers

Prince Charles meeting Joan Rivers at the Royal Variety Performance in 1996
Prince Charles meeting Joan Rivers at the Royal Variety Performance in 1996
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The Prince of Wales has praised American comedian Joan Rivers for her “enormous zest for life” after she died aged 81.

Rivers was admitted to hospital last week after suffering a heart attack in a doctor’s surgery on Thursday.

Her daughter Melissa announced her death on Thursday “with great sadness”.

She said: “She passed peacefully at 1.17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.”

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were said to be “deeply saddened” by the death of Rivers, who attended their wedding in 2005.

She also performed for Charles, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry at the We Are Most Amused comedy gala, in aid of the Prince’s Trust, for Charles’s 60th birthday.

Charles said: “Joan Rivers was an extraordinary woman with an original and indefatigable spirit, an unstoppable sense of humour and an enormous zest for life. She will be hugely missed and utterly irreplaceable.”

Rivers had one grandson, Cooper. Her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, died in 1987.

Rivers was a showbusiness veteran who in later years was as well known for her regular visits to the plastic surgeon as for her acid-tongued routines.

Among those paying tribute was The Office star Ricky Gervais who tweeted: “RIP the mighty Joan Rivers. Funny & fearless. Truly one of a kind.”

Best-selling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford said: “It is with great sorrow that (husband) Bob and I have just heard of Joan’s passing.