Kate Garraway has revealed she has received a “lovely letter” of condolence from the Prince and Princess of Wales following the tragic death of her husband Derek.
The presenter, 56, made an emotional return to Good Morning Britain today, just three days after burying her husband Derek.
Derek Draper fell seriously ill during the early part of the pandemic in March 2020 and spent 13 months in hospital before being discharged. He died on January 3 after suffering lasting symptoms of the coronavirus.
Speaking on the show, the mother-of-two explained how the Prince and Princess of Wales and King Charles have been in touch to pay their respects.
She explained: ‘Catherine and William sent a beautiful letter.
“I know Catherine has been in the hospital, so I really appreciate it.”
The couple’s letter of condolence comes after the Princess of Wales left hospital last week following planned abdominal surgery.
The Prince and Princess of Wales aren’t the only royals who reached out to Kate Garraway following Derek’s death.
And he continued: ”And I received a letter from the King, who knows a lot about grief.
“Because there is someone who knows about grief and also knows about that kind of anticipatory grief where you know that something has a risk of happening and that maybe at some point it will inevitably happen, but how different it is when it happens.”
However, the presenter later said she had been “sworn to secrecy” about the contents of the royal letters.
She added: ‘I think it was lovely of them to approach me, but it’s lovely to know that those people understand those emotions. I think for all of us it connects us all together.
In June 2023, Kate Garraway was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle. The honor recognized his services to broadcasting, journalism and charity.
Television presenter Kate Garraway returned to ITV’s Good Morning Britain via video link today.
Kate Garraway has revealed she received a ‘beautiful letter’ of condolence from the Prince and Princess of Wales (pictured in 2019) following the tragic death of her husband Derek.
During the moving investiture ceremony, Kate’s late husband Derek watched from the sidelines in a wheelchair.
Late last year, Kate revealed she had been planning to attend the Princess of Wales’s carol service at Westminster Abbey, but Derek’s health had sadly worsened.
During a GMB broadcast, the mother-of-two said: “I was going to take my dad, who has been looking forward to it for so long.”
‘But, unfortunately, we returned to the hospital with another crisis. “It will be wonderful to sit and watch it with everyone else.”
In June 2023, Kate Garraway was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle
King Charles was seen meeting presenter Kate Garraway at the Prince’s Trust Awards in London in May 2022.
Speaking about Derek’s funeral and his final days, Garraway told how his 17-year-old daughter Darcey told him: ‘Dad, if you can’t do this, we’ll be fine.’ You free yourself if you need to leave.
In the heartbreaking interview, he said Darcey whispered to her father: ‘Don’t worry about us, don’t worry about mom. We will be fine because you live through us.
Garraway said she had similar conversations with him and had the “opportunity to hold his hand, smell his skin” and tell him “we’re here,” adding that “some people don’t understand that.”
The presenter also revealed that her daughter had been “extraordinarily brave” and stood as pallbearer, after four horrific years for the family.
The 56-year-old, who will return to host the show from Thursday alongside Ben Shephard, spoke from her home via video link just three days after his funeral.
Garraway thanked his colleague Susanna Reid for putting together a book of condolences from viewers, praising the “incredible love” he has received.
Garraway also said his ’emotions are at 110 per cent’ after the funeral, and spoke of the ‘outpouring of love for everyone who has supported me’.
He said he was told Draper had 24 hours to live a month before he finally died.
Garraway also spoke about his daughter Darcey’s role as a pallbearer at the service, saying: “Darcey came into the room when we were talking about it (the funeral plans) and said, would you please let me carry the coffin?”
‘And I thought, wow, that’s a practical challenge, anyone who’s ever done it, it’s a difficult thing. And she said I want to do it and basically insisted on doing it and I thought it was a beautiful thing for her to take her dad.
Of Darcey and her son Billy, 14, he added: “To their grief, we are in the foothills, we know there is a long road ahead.”
She continued: ‘They didn’t want to pressure him to continue. I don’t think he felt that, I think he kept going because he wanted to be here.”
Meanwhile, Garraway confirmed he will be returning to the desk at GMB on Thursday, joking: “I’m going to wait for a blow dry.”
She said she’ll also be rotating false eyelashes and fake tan, adding, “Don’t worry, I’ll look a lot more respectable.”
Garraway continued: ‘I’m looking forward to coming into the world and connecting with everyone again.
‘Thanks for getting me back on track but have a little patience, I might be a little rusty. I think there is a new king. Have I caught up on that?’
Garraway also said he has received “extraordinary” messages of condolence from unexpected places.
She told GMB: “I received the most beautiful letter from David and Victoria Beckham – handwritten, very good handwriting… that was Darcey’s observation.”
‘And from the Royal Family: Catherine and William sent a lovely letter, and I know Catherine has been in hospital too.
“Even the king, because there is someone knows about pain, that anticipatory pain where you know that something has a risk of happening and how different it is when it happens.”
Garraway started the interview by saying: ‘Tomorrow, welcome to my house, we’ve got Rab here and Mark and Simon, who of course you know very well and me.
“The first thing they said is ‘we’ll shoot that way because it’s neater.’ And I said ‘I think it’s a little late for that now.’ Let’s own the mess and get on with it. So there you go, Lego and chaos. Delighted to speak with you.
ITV released a trailer yesterday ahead of Kate Garraway’s return to Good Morning Britain.
Speaking about the condolence book, Garraway told Reid and fellow presenter Richard Madeley: “They (the team) came in with this this morning. I think Susanna you were part of this. This is yours, beautifully done, thank you. Messages to Derek And it’s a strange thing.
By the way, I also have three baskets here full of messages, cards from the spectators and the team there, and I’m sure you’ve chosen many of them from here. It’s just amazing. It feels like my emotions are at 110 percent.
‘The incredible love we all have as a GMB family. It’s just wonderful, and ITV in general. I think we are very, very lucky, you will make me cry already, so let’s try to have a couple of minutes, the love that we have as a family completely, which is people watching at home.
‘It’s you at home, we’re so connected, and we’ve always been connected in all our joys and all our fun and the challenges of life that poor Derek has faced head-on and so has our family.
“But receiving those messages makes me cry because I feel so grateful, and I’m also aware that there are people this morning who don’t have that sense of love and just want to share with you.”
He also praised Draper’s “spirit and fight to keep going” and said his children Darcey and Billy had been “extraordinary throughout.”
Garraway continued: “It feels like five years and two minutes since Derek was in a positive situation before the cardiac arrest that took him from us.”
A photo from Kate Garraway and Derek Draper’s 2005 wedding appeared in the trailer yesterday.
He added that people asked him why he was going back to work so soon, but he said: “Life has to begin.” We have to get up and move forward.
‘That’s what Derek would want me to do. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.”
Garraway is said to be “interested in keeping busy and getting back to work”, and is also hoping to return to his soft radio show. He is tentatively scheduled to return full time, but ITV has offered him the option to take time off when he needs it.
Draper’s funeral, attended by the likes of former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair, musician Sir Elton John and Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer, was held last Friday at St Mary the Virgin Church in Primrose Hill, northwest From london.
Ahead of Garraway’s return to GMB, a post on the show’s X account yesterday said: ‘Tomorrow Kate Garraway joins us to speak for the first time since the death of her beloved husband Derek. Watch it from 6am on ITV.
In a short video accompanying the post, which included a series of images and clips of the couple, an ITV voiceover said: “Kate Garraway has shared the story of caring for Derek over the past four years, highlighting the struggle that thousands of people face.