BBC EastEnders: The legendary actress whose ‘mortifying’ encounter with the Queen made her want to write apology letter


EastEnders legend June Brown, who of course played Dot Cotton, was left mortified after meeting the Queen. So much so, she even wanted to write her a letter of apology.

Back in 2008 June was awarded an MBE in the Birthday Honours, for services to Drama and to Charity. However, the excitement of being presented with the honour meant the encounter didn’t go smoothly. Speaking to the Radio Times, Brown revealed that while collecting her award she stumbled, leaving her feeling embarrassed.

Speaking to the Radio Times she said: “When I was called I tripped on the step in front of her and almost fell over. “She said something about enjoying EastEnders and for some reason I replied, ‘I didn’t think you’d see it because it clashes with your dinner’. I didn’t even call her Ma’am or Your Majesty, so later I thought about writing to her to apologise. But I suppose at least I made her laugh.”

READ MORE: June Brown: The super cute friendship between the EastEnders legend, 94, and the world famous pop star, 35

June Brown starred as Dot Cotton for an incredible 2,350 episodes.

The pair had reportedly met before, back when June attended the Queen’s 60th birthday party. According to reports from The Sun , on this occasion Brown said the Queen didn’t seem to “have a clue who I was,” leaving Brown in hysterics.

June Brown left her role as Dot Cotton in 2020, after appearing in a whopping 2,350 episodes. Her first appearance in EastEnders dates back to 1985, the year the show started. After quietly leaving the role in 2020, June Brown revealed she felt “so sad”.

Speaking to podcast host and former EastEnders actress Rai Singh about leaving the show after 35 years, she said: “I was feeling rather down the other day. I thought, ‘What’s the matter? Why do I feel so sad?’ It’s almost as if I’ve been bereaved. I’ve played two people simultaneously for 35 years. Really Dot wasn’t me, but spiritually she probably was.”

June Brown played Dot Cotton on EastEnders for more than 30 years
June Brown played Dot Cotton on EastEnders for more than 30 years

Addressing Brown’s exit from the soap, a spokesperson said that the door would always be left open for the actress to return if she ever wanted to. “We never discuss artists’ contracts, however as far as EastEnders are concerned the door remains open for June, as it always has, if the story arises and if June wishes to take part.”

On April 4, 2022, The actress passed away at the age of 95. At the time the BBC tweeted a statement to say that June, who starred in a staggering 2,884 episodes of the London-based soap, “will never be forgotten.” It added: “There are not enough words to describe how much June was loved and adored by everyone at EastEnders, her loving warmth, wit and great humour will never be forgotten.”

The statement also extended sympathies to June’s family and friends, continuing: “We shall be raising a sweet sherry in June’s memory.” A statement from her family read: “We are deeply saddened to announce our beloved mother, June, passed away very peacefully at her home in Surrey on Sunday evening, with her family by her side. We would kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”

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