Prince Charles pays heartfelt tribute to Lynda Bellingham

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THE PRINCE of Wales has paid a heartfelt tribute to actress Lynda Bellingham as he promoted a cause she supported - the importance of older workers.

Charles said he was “greatly saddened” by Bellingham’s death earlier this week after a long battle with cancer, but praised her tireless work for others and described her as a marvellous actress.

For the past two years the celebrity had been an ambassador for the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise, an organisation, now part of Charles’s charity Business In The Community, which helps the over-50s start their own companies.

The star, 66, best known for her role as a mother in the Oxo TV adverts, had been fighting colon cancer, which later spread to her lungs and liver. The Prince spoke at the launch of a report that concludes the UK’s older workforce should be better utilised for the benefit of the country and their own financial well-being.

Meanwhile, about two million people watched the late Lynda Bellingham’s final interview on Loose Women - doubling the show’s usual audience. Viewers tuning in to ITV on Wednesday saw her describing her hopes for the Christmas she would never see.