Elizabeth Hurley calls Shane Warne her “beloved Lionheart”. He called her the woman he “fell madly in love with”.

As far as public romances go, there’s was as meaningful and authentic as they get.

But when Hurley went to record a video message for Warne’s state funeral on Wednesday, she couldn’t make it work. There was simply too much to say.

In the end, the film star who stole a cricket legend’s heart was “too emotional to encapsulate her feelings into a 30-second clip”.

The memorial to the late, great spin king went ahead without her making an appearance in front of 50,000 people at the MCG last night, but she was absolutely a part of it.

Master of Ceremonies, Eddie McGuire, told news.com.au that Hurley was very involved with the process and offered “nothing but warmth and respect throughout”.

“Elizabeth, like another major star and close friend, found it too emotional to encapsulate their feelings into a 30-second grab,” McGuire said.

Shane Warne with actress and model Liz Hurley in 2013. Picture: Ian Kington/AFPSource: AFP

“She had sent out wonderful tributes and she and we didn’t want to diminish her grief and love of the Warne family by doing so.

“In the end, her tribute was greater by not doing so, but by supporting the family and the production with her well wishes and support privately.

“We respected her wishes and completely understand her feelings. There was nothing but warmth and respect throughout the process.”

In the days after Warne died of a suspected heart attack in Thailand on Friday, March 5, Hurley posted a tribute to her followers.

“I feel like the sun has gone behind a cloud forever. RIP my beloved Lionheart,” she wrote.

Later, she expressed regret at being unable to attend the private funeral for Warne.

She shared photographs taken in Sri Lanka to celebrate the pair’s engagement, writing: “We had all our children with us and it was the happiest time. It still hasn’t really sunk in that he’s gone”.

Shane Warne kisses fiancee Liz Hurley ahead of the T20 Big Bash League match in 2011. Picture: Hamish Blair/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“It seems too cruel that all the people who loved him will never have another Lion hug, but our memories will live forever. RIP Lionheart, with love your Luna.”

Her son Damian, who shared his mother’s love for Warne, wrote of his shock at losing a man who meant the world to him.

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around this … SW was a father figure to me for most of my formative years and was truly one the best men I’ve ever known,” Damian wrote.

“My heart is broken. Thinking of and sending love to all SW’s family.”

Warne and Hurley started dating in 2010, with the Aussie cricketer proposing to the British actress in September the following year.

But despite buying a home together and Warne feeling like “I was more in love with her than I’d ever realised I could be”, they went separate ways in 2013 before making it down the aisle.

In his autobiography No Spin, Warne said there was “no single, clear reason” why the relationship ended.

Warne and Hurley were inseparable during their time together. Picture: Ian Kington/AFPSource: AFP
Hurley was too emotional to record her feelings in a 30-second clip as others close to Warne did for Wednesday night’s ceremony.Source: News Corp Australia

Hurley landing a lead role on TV series The Royals played some part, because the demands on her time meant the pair spent longer apart.

Warne’s relationship with Hurley came after the 2005 breakdown of his 10-year marriage to Simone Callahan, which ended on the eve of an Ashes series in the UK.

Warne proposed to Hurley on Australian businessman James Packer’s boat, Arctic P, off the coast of Spain in 2011 after just 18 months together. It was supposed to be kept secret but Packer let the details slip.

“Completely on impulse in the middle of a dance, I grabbed Elizabeth, dropped to one knee and said, ‘I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never got along with any woman as well as I get along with you. I’m madly in love with you. Our kids get along great. How would you like to spend the rest of your life with me?’” Warne wrote in his book.

“Without hesitation, she replied: ‘Of course I would, silly, I’m madly in love with you too. I feel exactly the same. I’ve never got on better with anyone than I do with you either.”

Liz Hurley and Shane Warne at the launch of The Shane Warne Foundation’s Ambassador Program.Source: News Limited
The pair in England in 2012. Picture: Stuart Wilson/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Packer was the only party to the moment and was fingered by the couple when the news broke in Australia a week later and forced them into a tough conversation with their angry kids.

After initially denying he’d said anything, Packer fessed up about six months later.

“Okay, it was me,” he told Warne at Crown in Melbourne. “I’m sorry — hit me, do whatever you want … I’m really sorry.”

Hurley’s silent tribute was one of many on a night dedicated to Warne stories.

Stars including Hugh Jackman, Kylie Minogue and Elton John paid tribute to Warnie, as did former teammates Mark Taylor, Merv Hughes and an emotional Allan Border.

“I feel sorry for the people around Australia who never met him.”



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