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Kate Garraway talks to Good Morning Britain about the death of Derek

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Kate Garraway talks to Good Morning Britain about the death of Derek

Kate Garraway returned to Good Morning Britain today for the first time since the sad loss of her husband, Derek Draper.

The GMB host spoke from her London home about the outpouring of love she and her children have received since Derek passed away after living with extreme complications from Covid. Kate revealed she had received letters of condolences from the Prince and Princess of Wales and David and Victoria Beckham.

Kate told hosts Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley, “I’ve had extraordinary things. I had the most beautiful letter from David and Victoria Beckham – handwritten, beautiful, very good handwriting may I say, very good handwriting – that was Darcey’s observation.”

She continued, “And also from the royal family. Catherine and William sent a beautiful letter. I know Catherine has been in hospital herself, so that was lovely. And even the King. Because there is somebody that knows about grief and also knows about that sort of anticipatory grief where you know something has a risk of happening and will and maybe at one point inevitably happen, but how different it is when it does happen.”

“I’m not sure I’m allowed to say these things because I think you’re sort of sworn to secrecy. I’m not going into too much detail, but I just think it was lovely of them to reach out to me, but it’s lovely to know that those people understand those emotions. I think for all of us, it connects us all together.”

Kate is also a regular on Smooth Radio

Kate also spoke about the moments of joy during the last four years of caring for Derek. She explained “Elton John, so sweetly sang at his funeral – the most beautiful song. But what was wonderful is we managed to get Derek to see Elton John as a family, something he’d always wanted to do throughout his life. And also so many silly things at home. Being here when Bill and Darcey came in from school to laugh and, and all of those silly things. So we’ve had so many moments of joy and thank you for all those.”

On the moment Derek passed, Kate said, “I was actually on my own with him and came out of the room that he had. I said to them [the children], ‘Dad has actually gone and Billy said, ‘I’m so sorry mum. And I just thought, ‘My goodness. They really have taken on board a caring role. I’m so proud of them for that.

“They did feel they didn’t want to pressure him to keep going for us. I don’t think he felt that. I think he kept going because he wanted to be here, but it’s lovely they saw his perspective in that way. I think it’s extraordinary and that’s what we all have to come together and think about.”

On her daughter, Darcey, being pallbearer at Derek’s funeral, Kate explained, “That was her. I was talking with my mum and dad. I was really conscious that the funeral should be about Derek and not about ill health. And he had a big chunk of his life where he was involved in the Labour Party and politics, but many, many other chunks of his life that were family and  his time as a psychologist. There was somebody there that I met for the first time whose life Derek saved through therapy. He came up and said, ‘I’ve never been allowed to tell you this before because of the rules surrounding therapy. But Derek stopped me from killing myself. I’m here today because of him.’

She added, “So I wanted the funeral to represent everything about him and not be about me. Darcey came into the room while we were talking about it and said, ‘Please, we like to carry the coffin and I thought ‘crikey, that’s a practical challenge.’ Anybody who’s ever done it, it’s a heavy thing. And she said, ‘I want to do it’ and basically insisted on doing it. And I thought that was a beautiful thing.”

Kate with GMB co-hosts, past and present including Eamonn Holmes, Richard Madeley and Ben Shephard

Richard asked Kate how she got through the last four years and Kate replied, “I think I relied on everybody else like we all do. I think I’ve got a massive debt to so many people and not least Derek, actually.

“Because his spirit and fight to keep going… never once did he say, ‘I don’t want to try. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do that.’ Nor have the children. The children have been extraordinary throughout and I think we have rituals like funerals because there is this extraordinary vacuum.

“It feels like five years and also two minutes since I was in the studio – excited because Derek had never been in a more positive place than he was just before the cardiac arrest that led to all the events that took him from us. And he’d had an MRI scan, things were progressing. It was the furthest from the spectre of death that we’d ever been, which is some kind of lesson to us all I guess about holding life close.”

Kate also described finding out Derek had passed as “one of those stop the clock moments”.

“I think the vacuum you feel at that point, having been entirely focused for four years on ‘What do I need to do next? What can I do for Derek what’s happening with the children?’ and all of that, and I think the thinking, ‘Right we now have what we were told is 24 hours that turned out to be more than a month of him fighting on and fighting on even though the prognosis was he won’t make through'”.

Tearfully, Kate added, “And that’s a challenge isn’t it because, for the children when they heard the doctors say ‘He won’t survive this’ They’ve heard that so many times. And he did. We knew Derek could still hear, it was a challenge to make sure he knew he wasn’t letting us down because he couldn’t get through this last one.”

Kate is due to return to hosting the show on Thursday, alongside Ben Shephard. Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6 am on ITV1 & ITVX

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