Sarah Ferguson Makes Heartfelt Tribute To Friends' Matthew Perry

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As the world reels from the shocking death of television star Matthew Perry, many celebrities have been reminiscing about how the actor touched their lives. The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, was among those who fondly remembered the fallen star. She appeared in the Season 4 finale episode of Perry's hit '90s sitcom, "Friends," in 1998 entitled "The One With Ross's Wedding," where the group of friends went to London, England for Ross Geller's (David Schwimmer) wedding. In the book "Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era" by Saul Austerlitz, it was revealed that media mogul and founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, also wanted to be on the episode and traded his guest appearance for 75 first-class airline tickets for the cast and crew to get to London.

Branson played a souvenir vendor who sells Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) a ridiculous hat with a Union Jack on it, and he meets the Duchess while wearing it. He takes a video of the two of them together to show Chandler, and Fergie states, "Hi Chandler. Joey says you don't like his hat, but I think it's kind of dashing." Chandler ends up feeling horrified that he didn't get to meet the Duchess. It was a memorable scene and one that has stuck with Ferguson ever since. 

In an October 29 Instagram post, Ferguson shared pictures of her with the cast as well as one with her, LeBlanc, and Perry, with the touching caption, "I remember being thrilled to have met a natural talent, comedian and brilliant actor."

Matthew Perry helped calm Ferguson's nerves

Sarah Ferguson continued her Instagram post that paid tribute to Matthew Perry, writing, "It is a tragedy to lose you so early in life, rest in peace dear have given so much joy and laughter to so many." In Style also quoted Kelsey Miller's book, "I'll Be There for You: The One About Friends," which explained that the Duchess' daughters convinced her to do the cameo in one of their favorite TV shows and that it helped her image, explaining, "At a time when Fergie-bashing had become a national pastime, Friends was a welcome relief." Fergie's many troubles in life embarrassed the royal family of which she was a part, and citizens had been using that as a platform for jokes at her expense.

But fans have since gotten past any issues they had with her, as one responded to her Instagram post by stating, "The Friends episodes in London including you are some of my favorites!" InStyle had also quoted a now-deleted Comedy Central article which explained that even though Perry wasn't in the scene where Joey filmed himself with her, he helped Matt LeBlanc and Ferguson rehearse it because she was so nervous to appear on the show. Another Instagram follower fondly remembered the episode, remarking, "It's wonderful you had a wonderful and incredible time with Matthew and rest of cast during their time in London RIP Matthew."

Fans grieved along with Sarah Ferguson

Ferguson's Instagram post touched a chord with fans who overwhelmingly regarded it as a wonderful tribute, with one responding, "What beautiful memories to have." Her heartwarming tribute connected with all of her followers, bringing forth emotions that they didn't know they had, as one sadly wrote, "@sarahferguson15 he will be so sadly missed, I cried all day yesterday for someone I never even met but yet he along with the rest of the friends cast for me through the hardest times of my life." Fergie also posted the same message and photo on X, formerly known as Twitter, to much the same outpouring of condolences and love. One long-time fan responded with, "Just breaks my heart Sarah. I've been falling asleep to Friends for years."

The "Friends" episode "The One With Ross's Wedding" was noteworthy because Chandler Bing and Ross' sister, Monica Geller (Courtney Cox) slept together for the first time. "Friends" co-creator David Crane explained to Entertainment Weekly in an article posted September 17, 2019, that it was supposed to have been a comical situation in which the characters realized they made a mistake. But the story potential between Chandler and Monica was too good to pass up, and history was made. Ferguson's cameo was also an important addition, helping it remain a fan favorite in the annals of the show's history.

Clearly, that one brief cameo the Duchess had on "Friends" has remained in her heart since then.