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'It's an absolute honour being asked to sing for the royals'

AN HONOUR: Rebecca Bernice Amissah singing the national anthem stage in front of Prince Charles at his 70th birthday celebration at the London Palladium (Image: ITV)

IF YOU watched Prince Charles’ 70th birthday celebration gala - We Are Most Amused and Amazed – on ITV this evening, you would have no doubt seen – and heard – Rebecca Bernice Amissah perform. Rebecca opened the show with her rendition of the national anthem alongside the Band of the Welsh Guards.

Before the show aired, she spoke to The Voice about her experience singing in front of the monarchy and her special connection with the next heir to the throne through the Prince’s Trust, which helped her set up her choir-for-hire Gospel Essence.

What did it mean to you to be asked to perform at Prince Charles 70th birthday celebrations at the London Palladium?
It’s an absolute honour to be asked to do something like that because I don’t think it’s something I’ll get to do in my lifetime – or who knows – but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I set up Gospel Essence through the Prince’s Trust a few years ago so they were aware of me...they just asked me because of the relationship I have and they were looking for a business that has benefited from the Trust, so I guess they thought I was suitable for what they needed.

Tell us about how you found the experience
Looking back on it it’s a real privilege to be involved in something so prestigious. It’s an event that won’t be repeated, it’s something that won’t happen again and it’s just nice to be part of that legacy.

Have you met Prince Charles yet and if so, what was that like?
I did at the event...which was a massive honour.

At the end, he came on stage and spoke to all of the performers and then we shook hands and took pictures and he just asked me more about my involvement with the trust and said I sang well and just wished me luck continuing with my business.

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What an amazing honour! #backstage

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What’s next for Gospel Essence?
We’ve been going now for eight years. We’ve got a wedding at the end of the year, we’re kind of closing the year with a wedding and we’ve got a few wedding bookings booked for next year. We’re just going on hopefully from strength to strength.

Why do you think the monarchy is still significant?
I think the monarchy is part of Britishness. If you go anywhere in the world, people think of the royal family and tea [laughs]. Regardless of what anyone’s personal feelings are about their place, it is something that is very British.

The show aired tonight on ITV. Will you be watching it back?
Yes. I’m actually in a musical. I’m in Guys and Dolls. I had to actually get permission because the day of the show [at the London Palladium] was my first day of rehearsals so I had to get permission from the production to be missing from my first day. I’m hoping we get out early enough so I can get home to watch it live.

How have your family reacted to the news about your involvement in such a special TV moment?
Everyone’s really proud. My parents and my partner were there on the day so they got to see it live but everyone – the wider family is so super excited to see it and very proud of my achievements.

Tell us about your role in Guys and Dolls?
I’m playing the role of General Cartwright who is like the head of the mission and the production’s happening in Sonning in a place called The Mill at Sonning, which apparently is next to George Clooney’s house. So we’re actually moving there tomorrow to start setting it up in the space. It’s really exciting.

Is musical theatre where you’re taking your career next?
It’s the newest thing I do. It’s my second job I do since I’ve got my agent...because something like that, you’re always auditioning so you kind of need something to fall back on and rather than, you know, a lot of actors have to work in Starbucks or somewhere, I wanted to have my own business to support myself whilst I was looking for work.

If you missed Rebecca Bernice Amissah’s performance or any of We Are Most Amused and Amazed, catch up on ITV player here.

Find out more about Gospel Essence here.

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