Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York Starred In This Iconic ‘Friends’ Episode

Duchess Meghan Markle might have sparkled as Rachel Zane on the hit USA drama Suits, but she’s not the only royal who has starred on a hit TV show. Way back in 1998 –fresh off the heels of her divorce from Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York had a small but iconic role on the hit NBC sitcom, Friends. Not only did Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s mom get to rub shoulders with Ross, Rachel and the gang — she just happened to have a cameo in one of the most iconic Friends episodes of all time.

In the two-part Season 4 finale, “The One With Ross’s Wedding” the gang except for Pheobe (Lisa Kudrow was too pregnant to fly at the time) head to London for Ross’ (David Schwimmer) wedding to Emily (Helen Baxendale) and the things that take place throughout the episode changed the characters’ lives forever.

A brilliant cameo

Ahead of Ross and Emily’s ill-fated wedding, Joey (Matt Le Blanc) embarks on a sightseeing trip around London. On his journey, Joey encounters the ever charismatic Richard Branson and of course Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson. In the clip from the episode, Joey is wearing a rather giant Union Jack hat. Fergie compliments the hat in a video that Joey later plays for Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courtney Cox) saying, ” Hi Chandler, Joey says you don’t really like his hat, but I think it’s kind of dashing.”

How did Fergie feel about appearing on Friends?

Fergie and her daughters are massive Friends fans. Therefore, when the chance to appear on the show arose, the Duchess of York jumped at it. However, when it came to reciting her lines, she got a case of stage fright.  During her quick cameo, the duchess got so nervous that Matt Le Blanc had to keep going over her lines with her. Luckily, he was a really good sport, and Matthew Perry even hung around the set with Fergie to make sure that she felt supported.

However, not everyone was too thrilled about having London as a backdrop for Friends. During filming there was a rumor floating around that Queen Elizabeth II had banned the Friends crew from filming in front of Buckingham Palace because she was upset with Fergie about a comment she made on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

In the end, the rumor ended up being false. However, there is actually no filming of the queen’s residences under any circumstances unless it’s for a documentary or news. The queen didn’t actually have it out for Fergie.

Matt Le Blanc and Sarah Ferguson on 'Friends'

Matt Le Blanc and Sarah Ferguson on ‘Friends’ | NBC

Why was “The One With Ross’s Wedding ” such an epic Friends episode?

So much happened in “The One With Ross’s Wedding,” which is why most fans forget that Fergie even had a cameo. If you recall it was during this final episode of Season 4 when  Chandler and Monica hook up for the very first time. Also, it’s the very same episode where Ross says Rachel’s name at the altar instead of Emily’s.

From that moment, we know that Ross and Emily’s marriage was doomed to fail and we’d be seeing a Ross and Rachel reunion in the future.

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