Katherine Ryan talks about awkward meeting with Prince Harry after jokes

Katherine Ryan has opened up about meeting Prince Harry earlier this month, after she spent years making jokes about him.

The comedian, 40, reflected on attending this year’s WellChild Awards, an event that highlighted the inspiring qualities of seriously ill children and young people in the UK, during an episode of her Telling Everybody Everything podcast, which aired on 14 September. She claimed that while she was invited to meet the Duke of Sussex during the occasion, her husband, Bobby Kootstra, wasn’t.

She went on to explain that, as she made her way to meet Harry, she had her concerns, since she’d previously “told jokes about Prince Harry,” his wife, Meghan Markle, and the royal family. However, she said she reminded herself that she still said “very positive” things about the British family in her jokes.

Ryan went on to note how, when Harry entered, appearing right “over [her] left shoulder,” he quickly mentioned her sense of humour. “First thing out of his mouth: ‘Oh, you’re the one who tells jokes about me,’” she recalled.

While recalling that she “panicked” when Harry mentioned her jokes, she confessed to responding to him by pointing to her friend Natalie, and claiming that she’d been the one to make the remarks. She said her friend denied that claim, prompting Ryan to speak up and confess. However, according to Ryan, Harry didn’t seem too upset about her previous comments.

“I was like: ‘Yeah, it was me, sorry about that,’” she recalled telling the duke. “And he said: ‘It’s okay, I like jokes.’ And I said: ‘Okay, well, none of them were at your expense.’ And he said: ‘No they weren’t, so keep telling the jokes.’”

She explained that after the interaction, she “just sank into a pool of a sweaty shame”, while wondering which one of her jokes he was referring to. “I hope he knows the right joke,” Ryan added.

The Duchess star went on to praise Harry, as she described how “lovely” he was when meeting other guests at the charity event. She also explained how the duke looked just like she’d expected him to.

“His presence was so striking, seeing him up close,” she added. “Prince Harry in the flesh, looks exactly, but taller, like the image of Prince Harry you have in his hand. He’s in HD, and the photos of him look like the real him.”

“He has a lovely peaceful presence. He’s so dutiful and beautiful,” she continued. “He went all around the room, very confidently.”

Over the years, Ryan has made numerous quips about the royal family. During the WellChild Awards on 8 September, she also poked fun at her love for the duke on her Instagram Story. “Deeply awkward having my current husband and ex in the same room,” she wrote, while sharing a snap of Harry at the ceremony, as reported by the Daily Star.

While speaking to the publication, she shared more details about nervously introducing herself to Harry after previously making jokes about him.

“I was worried that he might at some point have been told or seen my jokes because I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable. I’m just having a laugh,” she said. “But he was great.”

She went on to express that her partner wasn’t jealous when she met Harry, quipping: “My husband was not threatened. My husband’s very comfortable with how much I admit I love Prince Harry, but he also knows that I’m not as in love with him as it seems.”

Ryan also praised Harry for supporting the WellChild Awards, which arrived on the one-year anniversary of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

“Prince Harry is the patron of the Well Child Awards and we all loved him, he’s very striking in person,” she said. “And it’s amazing that even on the eve of the anniversary of his grandmother’s passing, he was able to take the time out to be there, that’s how meaningful it was.”

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