On Sunday 29 October, the Duchess of York took to Instagram to share a throwback photo of herself with the entire Friends cast, and another photo with just her, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry. “I remember being thrilled to have met a natural talent, comedian and brilliant actor,” her Instagram caption began.
“It is a tragedy to lose you so early in life, rest in peace dear Matthew… you have given so much joy and laughter to so many.”
The photos come from an episode of the 90s sitcom, which saw the former member of the British royal family guest-star. In the 1998 episode, titled “The One with Ross’s Wedding,” Ross Geller, played by David Schwimmer, was getting married to Emily, played by Helen Baxendale, in her hometown of London.
The day prior to the wedding, Joey Tribbiani, played by LeBlanc, was touring the city with Perry’s character, Chandler, while wearing a giant hat emblazoned with England’s flag, which Chandler had mocked. Joey then ran into Ferguson, who played herself, with the episode seeing him urge her to say on camera that she liked his hat.
“Say hi to my friend and tell him you like my hat,” Joey told the Duchess of York, not knowing who she was. “Okay, so um, what’s your friend’s name?” she replied.
“Hi, Chandler. Joey says you don’t really like his hat, but I think it’s kind of dashing,” she ended up saying to the camera.
According to the Daily Mail, the royal was “nervous” to film her scene but Perry offered to stand near while she filmed for moral support. Ferguson reportedly only decided to make the appearance because her two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, “coaxed” her into it, as they were big fans of the show, the outlet reported, citing the book I’ll Be There for You:The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller.
The Duchess of York is just one of the many who have shared tributes to Perry since the actor’s 28 October death.
After Perry’s death, his family released a statement to People, saying: “Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”
The co-creators of Friends, Marta Kauffman and David Crane, along with executive producer Kevin Bright, also released a statement on the devastating news. “This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken,” Sunday’s joint statement began.
“We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing,” the statement continued. “We will always cherish the joy, the light, the blinding intelligence he brought to every moment - not just to his work, but in life as well. He was always the funniest person in the room. More than that, he was the sweetest, with a giving and selfless heart.”