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14 times the royal family made surprising TV cameos

The royals are naturals in front of the camera!

royals on tv
Chloe Ash
Social Media Content Producer
June 3, 2020
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kate itv this morning© Photo: ITV

The royal family are no strangers to appearing in front of the camera. As well as traditional addresses such as the Queen's speech, throughout the years many royals have made unexpected and extraordinary TV cameos. During the current coronavirus pandemic, we have been seeing a lot more of The Firm on our screens, with recent appearances including the Duchess of Cambridge on This Morning and Prince Harry on The One Show. Viewers of the BBC's Big Night In – a special charity programme for those helping to tackle the coronavirus pandemic – were also treated to a surprise appearance from the Duke of Cambridge for a Blackadder sketch!

HELLO! have decided to take a trip down memory lane for all the other times the royals have swapped their dazzling gladrags for a television mic. Take a peek through the gallery to see...

The Duchess of Cambridge on This Morning

This Morning viewers were delighted when the Duchess of Cambridge made a surprise appearance on the ITV daytime show in May. Kate spoke to hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about her community project Hold Still, with one of her patronages, the National Portrait Gallery, and also discussed life in lockdown with her young family.

The Duchess delighted fellow parents after admitting that homeschooling Prince George and Princess Charlotte had been challenging, and revealed that the Cambridges were taking part in regular Zoom calls with the rest of the family. 

prince harry the one show© Photo: BBC

Prince Harry on The One Show

Prince Harry appeared on The One Show in May from his home in LA while in lockdown. The royal spoke to war veterans supported by the CASEVAC Club (pronounced cazzy-vack, a military phrase meaning ‘Casualty Evacuation’),  a members-only club for those seriously wounded in combat during recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

cambridges clapping

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on BBC's Big Night In

The Duke of Cambridge appeared alongside comedy actor Stephen Fry for a very special Blackadder sketch. Prince William was seen joining in on a video call from his Norfolk home and joked with the actor about missing EastEnders after asking him for TV show recommendations.

Quite hilariously, the future king revealed that he tends to "avoid shows about royalty" when Stephen suggested he watch Netflix hit Tiger King. After the funny segment, the whole Cambridge family then appeared outside their home in Norfolk as part of the Clap for Carers campaign. How lovely!

MORE: Duchess of Cornwall pictured on daughter Laura Lopes' wedding day in never-before-seen photo

princess royal© Photo: BBC

Princess Anne on Countryfile

Countryfile celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Riding for the Disabled Association over the weekend, taking the opportunity to speak to their ambassador for the last 48 years, the Princess Royal. During an interview with presenter John Craven, the Queen's only daughter spoke about the importance of horses and ponies in the lives of people with disabilities. The chat ended on a cheeky note after John asked Anne if she still rode at her age. "I ride at home yes," she replied, before affirming: "When you say am I still riding…Her Majesty is still riding. So come on, I've got a year or two to go here before."

MORE: Prince Charles' cutest granddad moments in photos

the queen olympics© Photo: BBC

The Queen's role during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony

To the surprise of the whole world, Her Majesty the Queen surprisingly appeared in a spoof sequence alongside Daniel Craig during the opening celebrations of the 2012 Olympics. The director, Danny Boyle, revealed that the monarch's acting debut was voluntary, with the Queen excited to be involved in the 007 spoof. Speaking on the Jonathan Ross Show in 2013, the creative director explained that he proposed the idea to the palace and "They came back and said 'we're delighted for you to do it, and Her Majesty would like to be in it herself'".

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prince charles countryfile© Photo: BBC

Prince Charles on Countryfile

In March 2013, Prince Charles agreed to guest edit Countryfile to mark the 25th anniversary of the rural affairs programme. Speaking to former presenter Julia Bradbury, the Prince revealed how important spending time in the outdoors was for him: "Walking is a terribly important thing for me, rather like some people need a cigarette, I need a walk. It's riveting, by going for a walk I find it stimulates thinking and reflecting. So I spend my life stamping about and I have things I write down. That's where the best thoughts come from."


prince charles this morning© Photo: ITV

Charles and Camilla on This Morning

Prince Charles and Camilla joined Holly and Phillip on the sofa of This Morning in 2018, to celebrate the show's 30th anniversary. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall swapped stories of harvesting honey and met a mischievous dog, before continuing on their tour of the ITV studios by meeting the cast of Lorraine and This Morning too. 

READ MORE: Why there's a blank space on Meghan Markle's Vogue cover

prince charles shakespeare© Photo: BBC

Prince Charles on Shakespeare Live

The Prince of Wales appeared on stage in 2016 as part of the cast in Shakespeare Live, alongside David Tennant, Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch. The 70-year-old took to the stage to deliver Shakespeare's iconic line "to be or not to be" to mark the death of the famous writer. BBC 2 aired the performance from the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on the 400th anniversary of the playwriter's death.

kate middleton and prince william gold badge© Photo: BBC

Kate Middleton and Prince William on Blue Peter

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made every child (and adult) in the land jealous when they were awarded a gold Blue Peter badge in December 2017, following their campaigning on mental health issues affecting children. After receiving their special award, the couple seemed overwhelmed, with the Duchess stating, "It is hugely special, thank you so much. Mental health has been a learning process for us too, and I think that is what we really want to do, to get everyone talking about it, so it hasn't got the stigma that it has had for some years."

kate blue peter© Blue Peter

Kate Middleton on Blue Peter

Two years later, the Duchess of Cambridge made another special appearance on Blue Peter in June 2019, to share a look at her Back to Nature garden and to take part in some fun outdoor activities with a group of youngsters. The mother-of-three joined some excited children to build a den, plant flowers and even try her hand at pond dipping. This special cameo gave us a real glimpse into Kate's motherly personality, as she praised a little girl for picking up a newt, saying "Are you going to pick it up? Wow! Well done, that's amazing." 

top gear new© Photo: BBC

Zara and Mike Tindall on Top Gear

Zara and Mike Tindall took to the iconic Top Gear racecourse in July 2019 to try their hand at racing around the closed track. The couple spent their time on the popular show teasing each other and laughing, whilst they zoomed round the track. The Queen's granddaughter lost control of the wheel at one point, sending the couple into the grass verge.

princess anne   one show lighthouses© Photo: BBC

Princess Anne on The One Show

Princess Anne and her husband Timothy Laurence appeared on The One Show in January 2019, as the couple embarked on a trip to inspect lighthouses around Scotland. Speaking about the lighthouses she had seen, Anne said: "One of the first places we visited when I was really quite young was McArthurs Head in Islay, and they are fascinating places, and for a child they're great fun, to be honest."

countess of wessex© Photo: BBC

The Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise on Strictly Come Dancing

The Countess of Wessex and her daughter Lady Louise were spotted in the front row of Strictly Come Dancing in December 2018. With many fans shocked and confused to see the royal duo attend the hit BBC show, Tess Daly explained exclusively to HELLO! that the mother and daughter were there to celebrate Lady Louise's 15th birthday.

Tess explained: "It was lovely to have them there, we are very fortunate we have a few fans in the royal household… They did absolutely [get a backstage tour]. Lady Louise was celebrating turning 15 and she said it was a treat to come and visit the show. She's a big fan, herself and her mother. They enjoyed all the action from the front row and they had a great night. It was great to welcome them."

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sarah ferguson© Photo: Getty Images

Sarah Ferguson in Friends

Sarah Ferguson had a cameo role in Friends episode The One with Ross's Wedding after bumping into Joey (Matt LeBlanc) on the gang's trip to London. 

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