Joan Rivers’ Friendship With Prince Charles Taught Her the Dos and Don’ts of Dealing With Royalty

Thanks to her success, Joan Rivers was in the company of many A-Listers throughout her lifetime. The comedian reached celebrity status herself and thus was no stranger to famous people. But when she developed a friendship with Prince Charles, she learned to deal with a completley different class of fame. But how did the comedian develop a friendship with Prince Charles, and what did their friendship teach her about dealing with royalty?

Joan Rivers had a friendship with Prince Charles
Joan Rivers | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Rivers first met Prince Charles through a mutual friend and they hit it off thanks to their mutual love of painting. When she was given the opportunity to paint with the royal, she discovered that he had a great appreciation for humor. As someone who made their living on entertaining people with her jokes, it’s no doubt that the pair were able to develop a friendship over time.

How Joan Rivers and Prince Charles became friends

“Oh, well, first of all, I’ve always — since I’ve met both of them, they’re just fabulous,” Rivers shared about Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles in a 2005 interview on Larry King Live. “And finally, it’s really coming out now what they’re like. And I met him through a mutual friend. And we both paint. And I was lucky enough to be invited to paint with him in the South of France, which I’ve done. And he’s just got a great sense of humor. And he always thinks I’m funny. So it started out that way.”

Once Rivers developed a friendship with Prince Charles, she had the opportunity to get friendly with the Duchess of Cornwall also. It was enough for the comedian to secure an invitation to the royal wedding. And although The Joan Rivers Show star was excited about the wedding, she was extremely nervous about picking the right outfit for the special occasion.

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“A little nervous?” Rivers responded when King asked her if she was nervous about attending Prince Charles’ Wedding. “Insane. What do you wear? You don’t want to look over the top. You don’t know, should you wear your good pin, should you — I was hysterical. Melissa and I for weeks and Blaine Trump, my very good friend, I mean, everyone was just in there helping me what to wear, what not to wear.”

Joan Rivers attends the royal wedding
Joan Rivers | Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage

Eventually, Rivers settled on an outfit that was a little demure for her tastes. In retrospect, she was a little disappointed that she didn’t push herself to go for something more dramatic. “And I picked something. Now I’m a little sorry because I could have gone a little wilder.” Of course, Rivers would eventually learned that the key to maintaining a friendship with the royals is to be true to herself, outfits and all.

How Rivers learned to deal with royalty

But Rivers also shared that dealing with royalty also required her to be careful about the words she was using so as not to offend them. The late comedian revealed that there’s a delicate balance of being yourself but also editing some of your more crass language.


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“I think the way I deal with them, truly, is — I just say what I think, the way I do with everybody,” Rivers revealed. “But you always couch it. I know with Prince Charles, because with him, I always say, ‘Excuse me for saying this, sir, but she’s a pig. You know?’ And he just thinks that’s hilarious. So that’s how we get along.” Clearly, Rivers knew how to handle a relationship with royalty. We’d be interested to see if other people who have befriended royals share her sentiments.