The ‘Golden Girls’ Cast Once Did a Live Performance for This Royal Family Fan

We usually don’t get a glimpse of the royal family in laid-back situations, however, they’re probably more like the rest of us than we think. The only difference is, royal family fans didn’t have to rely on the small screen to see their favorite foursome; they once welcomed The Golden Girls cast for a live performance for one royal fan.

Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Betty White wearing white dresses and smiling
Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Betty White | Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

The Golden Girls was a hit show that ran from 1985-1992, with millions of viewers tuning in each week. Fans just couldn’t get enough of naive Rose, seductive Blanche, sarcastic Dorothy, and of course, the wise-cracking and hilarious Sophia. The “girls” in Miami provided much-needed laughs, and fans enjoyed their heart to hearts around the kitchen table, devouring cheesecake. It wasn’t just Americans loving the show; television sets in the palace tuned into The Golden Girls on a weekly basis.

Who was the royal family member that the cast did the performance for?

It wasn’t Prince Charles, or even Queen Elizabeth herself! It was the Queen Mother who loved Rose, Dorothy, Sophia, and Blanche so much she wanted to see them do a scene. According to Vanity Fair, the Queen Mother invited the actresses to join the 1988 Royal Variety Performance. The performance was a huge hit.

Some lines were toned down, but there was one about the length of time Blanche waited before sleeping with another man after her husband passed away. Rather than taking offense, the Queen Mother laughed wholeheartedly. The cast also performed two famous cheesecake scenes and the Queen Mother, as well as Princess Anne, had the time of their lives.

What did Betty White have to say about the live performance?

It looks like even big celebrities like Betty White get a little starstruck from time to time. White still fondly recalls the time the cast flew to London for the live performance. According to People, she even wrote about it in her memoir. So, what did she have to say?

Well, she remembers just how exciting it was, and how the cast was honored that royal family members were such huge fans of the show. Naturally, the four main cast members were prepped in advance of how to behave when meeting the royals, and knew exactly what to do and say. It turns out the family members who saw the live performance were thrilled, enjoyed the show tremendously, and complimented the actresses on their performance.

What else do we know about the iconic performance?

It’s not every day the cast of a hit television show flies to another country to do a live performance. The cast of The Golden Girls were probably humbled at the invitation, and it is likely a prominent highlight of each of their careers. So, what else do we know?

Well, the Rockettes also performed that night, causing Betty White to crack a joke. When the Queen Mother complimented their performance and called them “pretty girls”, White responded by saying “not bad bodies, either!” How typical of White to turn a moment into a humorous occasion, and how wonderful it is the cast had the chance to perform for the royal family.