Richard E Grant says the Duchess of Cornwall has been "very supportive" following his wife's death.

Richard E Grant

Richard E Grant

The 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' actor sadly lost his wife Joan Washington last month when she died aged 74 after a battle with lung cancer, and he revealed how helpful Camilla has been since his loss.

Speaking after a reception for Camilla's 'Reading Room' initiative, he said: "The duchess knew my wife very well, who died last month. She was talking about her. She was very supportive."

During the event at Clarence House - which was held to thank people for supporting her Instagram group for avid readers from all backgrounds - the duchess put her arm around Richard and said his late wife would be "looking down" on him.

Meanwhile, the 64-year-old star had high praise for Camilla's initiative, having been a book-lover since he was a young boy.

He said: "I grew up in a country where there was no television service, so I have been an avid reader since I was four years old.

"Lockdown I think encouraged or allowed people to read much more than in normal circumstances.

"Reading has been the gateway of everything I have known or liked in life. And it's cheaper than anything."

Other guests at the reception included Tom Stoppard, Dame Judi Dench and Robert Harris.

Last month, Richard revealed Camilla's husband Prince Charles paid a secret visit to his wife before her death.

He said: ""Prince Charles came to see 'The Colonel' last month, sat beside her, took her hand and said, 'It's been an absolute honour to have known you, Joan' to which she instantly quipped, 'I'm STILL here.' Which broke the ice and made all three of us cackle.

"Astonishingly, unlike me, she's never been star struck and possessed the innate gift of speaking to everyone of any age or status as her equal."