The royal links of Vera Duckworth, Queen of Corrie

For years, she was a queen of British soap operas. The actress Liz Dawn, who has died at the age of 77, made her character Vera Duckworth into a household name so famous that even royalty gave her an audience. As we say farewell to a TV legend, here's a look back at the great Liz Dawn's brushes with royalty.

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Vera Duckworth first appeared in Coronation Street in 1974 and was a well established favourite by the time the Queen visited the set of the soap in 1982.

Coronation Street marked its 40th anniversary in 2000 with the Prince of Wales on hand to help celebrate. Vera was well away from the famous cobbles and received her own special royal visit as Liz Dawn prepared for her part in the special live episode that marked the anniversary. Her character was being treated in hospital with her life hanging in the balance but the actress was all smiles as Prince Charles told her the show's fans would be furious if Vera left the programme.

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Earlier the same year, Vera had gone to Buckingham Palace when Liz Dawn was presented with the MBE by the Queen. The actress, whose real name was Sylvia Butterfield, was given the award for her services to drama and for her charity work.

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ITV, the home of Coronation Street, marked its 50th anniversary in 2005 with the Queen as guest of honour at a reception in recognition of the landmark. Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Liz of the Rovers Return stood shoulder to shoulder on the big night.  Vera Duckworth bowed out of Coronation Street in 2008 when Liza Dawn requested to leave after being diagnosed with emphysema. Vera returned, as a ghost, in 2010 to dance into TV legend with on screen husband Jack (Bill Tarmey) as his character passed away too. It was a fitting end to a TV partnership that became part of the very cultural fabric of the UK. No wonder it received so much royal recognition. Liz Dawn, a queen of TV, was worthy of all the honours.

Photo credits; Wiki Commons.