Royal nod for Eric Morecambe’s widow

Joan Morecambe (third left) with son Gary, daughter Gail and son Steven on the day she received her OBE.
Joan Morecambe (third left) with son Gary, daughter Gail and son Steven on the day she received her OBE.

When Joan Bartholomew received her OBE from the Queen, there was one small fact she forgot to mention.

Joan didn’t tell Her Majesty that she was Eric Morecambe’s wife.

She said: “I probably should have said I was Eric’s wife, it was probably a mistake not to have said.“

“I gave my name as Joan Bartholomew.

“Then afterwards one of the lady helpers was talking to my son Gary and it came out.

“They tried to get the press back but they had already left!”

Mrs Morecambe received her OBE at Windsor Castle for her work with children’s charities.

Joan raises funds for Save the Children and is a patron of the A-T Society, which helps young people with a progressive genetic condition called Ataxia-Telangiectasia.

She is also a founder president of the Lady Taverners charities. Her husband was president of the Lords Taverners in the 1970s.

Joan, 88, was accompanied on her big day by sons Gary and Steven, and daughter Gail.

She said: “It was a memorable day, a day I’ll never forget.

“It was beautifully organised and everybody was so kind and helpful.

“The Queen and I are more or less the same age, but when you think of all the things she does and the people she has to meet, I don’t know how she does it.”

Eric, who died in 1984, and his comedy partner Ernie Wise received OBEs from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 1976.