Royal rebels: How Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana plotted Buckingham Palace prank

Sarah Ferguson – affectionately known as Fergie – married Prince Andrew in their spectacular 1986 royal wedding. Firm friends with Princess Diana from before her entry into royal life, Fergie soon came to rely on the Princess of Wales on the inside of Palace life. The pair famously had a madcap night out for Fergie’s hen night, when she was living in Buckingham Palace before her big day.

The royal duo staged a mock-arrest, and pulled off their disguises with one ingenious tiny detail that fooled Palace security.

In her 1996 autobiography “My Story”, the Duchess of York gave all the inside details about how she and the Princess managed to pull off the stunt.

She reminisced: “On July 15, a week before the wedding, Andrew had his stag do at Aubrey House with the likes of Elton John and Sir David Frost.

“I desperately wanted to gate-crash, but the fortress was impregnable: high wall, single entrance, guards with major biceps – no go.”

She continues: “As a fallback, Diana and I staged a hen-night.

“With a few co-conspirators in tow, we donned grey wigs and dressed up in authentic policewomen’s outfits, down to our regulation dark stockings and lace-up shoes.

“After assembling just outside the Palace, we pretended to arrest one of our friends (chosen for her fabulous legs), who was playing the promiscuous lady.

“The duty police at the gates thought this very strange.

“They called out the parks police, who proceeded to arrest the lot of us – even our protection officer, who played along – for causing a scene outside Buckingham Palace.

“They ushered us into their police van, [and] Diana and I had no intention of resisting.

“We thought it hysterically funny.”

The Duchess also reveals how she and the Princess had thought of one tiny detail to complete their disguises.

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She wrote: “We’d turned our engagement rings wrong side around, and it had worked, they hadn’t recognised us.”

However, she continued: “By the time we reached the end of the Mall, our cover must’ve worn thin – we heard one of the policemen say, ‘Oh my heavens, it’s the Princess of Wales in drag!’”

The royal pair convinced the police officers to drop them off near the Mayfair nightclub Annabel’s, where the Duchess said they had a “wild night” and headed back to Buckingham Palace at 2am.

The Duchess of York even details what Her Majesty thought of her daughter-in-law’s escapade.

She wrote: “Later I confessed our hen night to the Queen, and she thought it was reasonably amusing.

“We had got clean away with it.

“I’d been as naughty as I could be, and still was adored by all.” 

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