We know that queens love The Golden Girls, but did you know that members of the actual Royal Family are fans too?
The Queen Mother—who passed away in 2002—was such a fan of the classic sitcom that Queen Elizabeth invited Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty to perform a scene from the series as part of the 1988 Royal Variety Performance. They were one of two American acts invited to perform.
White wrote about her interaction with the Queen Mother in her 2010 memoir, Here We Go Again: My Life in Television and it was brought up again in a Reddit AMA White did in 2014.
“I understand that the Queen of England was so enamored by The Golden Girls that she requested you girls do a live show for her and the crew obliged? What was the plot and did you have to ‘tone down’ some of the jokes, particularly those by Rue McClanahan,” asked a Redditor.
“It was very exciting. The Queen was lovely. We were told not to address her unless we were addressed,” White recalld. “She was up in a box and she came down on stage after with Princess Anne. She said lovely, pretty girls. I said and not bad body, and she said, ’oh, no, not bad bodies!'”
The actress wrote in her book that the Queen was referring to the bodies of the Rockettes who were also performing that night.
The cast re-enacted two of their famous cheesecake kitchen scenes, and according to Mental Floss, some of the lines were censored so as not to offend the Royal Family members in attendance, but Sophia’s zinger about how long Blanche waited until she had sex again after husband died had the Queen Mother “chucking heartily.”
Royal Variety Performances are annual gala events in the U.K. attended by members of the British Royal Family. The first one was held in 1912 at the Palace Theatre. In recent years high profile singers like Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue and Bette Midler have performed.
Watch The Golden Girls’ scene below.