Dawn French’s encounter with this royal left her thinking she was a ‘witch’

Dawn French shared her less than ideal encounter with this royal – plus the heartbreaking reason she quit French & Saunders

Dawn French has revealed why she quit French & Saunders - plus a memorable encounter with a royal
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dawn French’s encounter with this iconic royal was far from a fairytale encounter.

The Vicar of Dibley star – who previously opened up on how one of the sitcom’s most iconic scenes left her injured for life – is busy promoting her latest book and tour, and she’s shared a new story involving a notable royal.

During an appearance on ITV’s This Morning on Friday, Dawn talked about her meeting with the Queen Mother – but it wasn’t quite the glamorous, happy memory one might have expected.

Dawn French is promoting her latest book

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Speaking on the morning chat show, Dawn explained, “I was four. It was horrifyingly scary. We'd done curtsy practice. She came to my dad's army base. I was expecting unicorns and crowns and neither turned up. I'm fuming.”

“A woman in a lilac outfit smiled at me and her teeth were brown. When you're four that's a witch. I would not speak to her.”

The Queen Mother left a young Dawn French 'fuming' for the funniest reason

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dawn is currently doing the rounds promoting her latest book, the hilariously titled The Tw*t Files: A hilarious sort-of memoir of mistakes, mishaps and mess-ups.

The autobiography was released on October 12, and some of the key highlights from the memoir include the reason she suddenly decided to quit French & Saunders, her iconic comedy sketch show with best friend (and Absolutely Fabulous icon) Jennifer Saunders.

In a painfully frank confession, Dawn revealed there was a moment filming the show which left her feeling “ugly.”

Dawn French explains why she quit French & Saunders in her new book

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Explaining the “tipping point” and how it involved pop star Anastacia, Dawn shared how she and Jennifer were filming the scene in the toilets in the BBC building.

In the scene, Dawn had a fantasy that Anastacia would hear her sing and invite her to join her onstage. Anastacia stars in the sketch, overhearing the conversation, and made Dawn’s dreams come true in the scene.

However, Dawn writes in her new book that seeing herself in the comic cowgirl costume her character wore to perform alongside Anastacia left her feeling “so ugly.”

She writes, “I'd often voluntarily, happily been 'ugly' for hundreds of sketches. I've never minded what something looks like, as long as it's servicing the joke right. The mirror was clearly telling me why this was so painfully abhorrent. Because the joke was on me.”

French & Saunders

(Image credit: Getty Images)

After finishing the scene, Dawn writes she “burst into hot, angry tears” and “sobbed” all the way home.  And that was it. A historic decision to end the long-running series was made.

However, in an interview with The Times, Dawn insisted that Jennifer didn't try to stop her, explaining she had a true friend’s support.

“Jennifer would never fight me on something so big. She does say now, 'What the f*** were you thinking? We could have sorted that easily.' But it wasn't a problem.”

As for her, she has never regretted her decision, adding, “I think it was time to go to another chapter, and you have to know when that happens.”

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.