Betty White Once Performed ‘Golden Girls’ Live for Queen Elizabeth — but She Had to Censor the Show


When The Golden Girls debuted in 1985, the sitcom was an immediate hit. The series followed the ditzy Rose (Betty White), alluring Blanche (Rue McClanahan), no-nonsense Dorothy (Bea Auther), and of course, the hilarious and iconic matriarch. Sofia (Estelle Getty). The show focused on four women in their wiser years living their best lives in Miami, Florida.

The series was a massive success winning Emmys and Golden Globe Awards and it was also quite raunchy, especially for the time. The women openly discussed their sex lives and social issues of the age. Though they loved one another, they also loved taking digs at one another. Many of these snips were hardly appropriate for delicate eats.

Still, that didn’t stop Queen Elizabeth II‘s mother, The Queen Mother from loving the show. The Golden Girls even performed for her once, but Betty White says, they had to sensor their performance.

Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo, Bea Arthur as Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak, Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, Betty White as Rose Nylund
Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo, Bea Arthur as Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak, Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, Betty White as Rose Nylund — | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

The Queen Mother adored ‘The Golden Girls’

Like many people, The Queen Mother was absolutely obsessed with The Golden Girls. In fact, in 1988, the then 88-year-old Queen Mom invited the cast to perform for her at the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.

“It was very exciting,” Betty White recalled in a 2014 AMA Reddit. “Queen Elizabeth was lovely. We were told not to address her unless we were addressed. She was up in a box and she came down on stage after with Princess Anne.”

Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo; Bea Arthur as Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak; Betty White as Rose Nylund; Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux
Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo; Bea Arthur as Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak; Betty White as Rose Nylund; Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux | Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank

Princess Diana used to make ‘The Golden Girls’ dialogue dirtier

The Queen Mother was not the only royal who was a major fan of the comedic series. The late Princess Diana was also an ecstatic fan of Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sofia. In fact, she loved to watch the show in a very unique way.

In 2013 British actress Cleo Rocos revealed that the princess once spent the day with herself and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury watching The Golden Girls. “The group spent the afternoon drinking champagne in front of reruns of The Golden Girls with the sound turned down and improvising show dialogue with a much naughtier storyline,” she told Vanity Fair. “After asking about the group’s plans that night, Diana, “in full mischief mode,” insisted on joining.”

Betty White and ‘The Golden Girls’ cast censored their performance for the Queen

For the 1988 Royal Variety Performance Princess Diana was on her best behavior, as were The Golden Girls cast. White recalled that the women had decided on a 7-minute performance, but they did not want to offend the queen with any of the raunchier dialogue.

The women re-enacted two of their legendary kitchen table scenes with a bit of censoring. However, there was one line that was left intact. Sophia’s equipped to Dorothy’s question to Blanche about how long she’d waited to have sex again after her husband had died.

Thankfully, The Queen Mother was delighted by Sophia’s risqué response. She laughed so hard that the paramedics were called to make sure she was OK.





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