We are absolutely loving Sarah Ferguson's royal approved party tips for avoiding awkward social encounters - and will use them the next time we leave a party early!

The Duchess of York has shared some royal approved tips, plus the one rule she’s embedded into her daughters

We are loving Sarah Ferguson's royal approved party tips
(Image credit: Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)

If you’ve ever been curious about the many shrewd social tricks and tactics the royals have picked up over the years, Sarah Ferguson is sharing some of the fool-proof lessons she learnt from the best. Whether that’s knowing how to cleverly dodge an awkward question or making others think you were at an event longer than you actually were, they’re surprisingly useful nuggets of wisdom.

Royals engage in all sorts of social activity, day after day. So it’s no surprise they’ve picked up some clever tricks for avoiding uncomfortable questions or learning how to properly get away with leaving a party early without offending anyone.

And, thanks to the Duchess of York, we get to share in some of the knowledge too.

Sarah Ferguson recently shared these royal approved tricks and tips for exiting a conversation on the latest episode of her podcast, Tea Talks with the Duchess and Sarah.

Fergie's royal approved tips show how to politely escape a conversation or duck out of a party

(Image credit: Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

While chatting with co-host Sarah Thomson, the Duchess – who is recovering from breast cancer surgery - was asked how she and her fellow royals politely excused themselves from a party.

Sarah explained, “Well, it depends which country you’re in. There’s all different cultures which you must always be aware of, and I love that.”

“If you’re in British Downton Abbey, you get to a point when you say: ‘One second, could you hold that thought because I’ve just got to go and see Fred over there because I’ve got to give him a message.’ And by the time that the person you’re talking to has gone onto the next subject, they’ve forgotten that you were coming back to tell something about Fred.”

The Duchess’ next tip was particularly intriguing, and we have no doubts she’s sharing it from vast experience too, as it involves dodging questions you’d prefer not to answer.

When asked how to swerve a particularly unwelcome question, Sarah explained, “If someone asks you a tricky question that you don’t want to answer, say: ‘Oh that’s so interesting, I’ll tell you what, I’m going to throw that question to Matilda. Matilda, what do you think about that question?’”

The Duchess of York also shared her life lessons she passed down to her daughters

(Image credit: David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

A third and final bit of insight is one which can definitely come in handy when you over-book yourself.

If you know you’ve got other engagements, how do you make your hosts or other guests feel like you have been at the party for a decent amount of time?

Sarah’s royal lessons suggest you just make sure you’re extra “loud” when you’re actually there.

She explains, “If you’re really busy and you have three parties a night and don’t know how you’re going to manage, you walk through the door very loudly and walk all the way around the room.”

“And you’re so loud, then you leave after five minutes so everyone will say: ‘Oh, I didn’t see Sarah tonight,’ and everyone in the room says: ‘Oh, we did!’”

“The guest thinks you’ve been there all night,” she added.

Sarah Ferguson told her daughters that nobody wants to see a grumpy princess

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Clever! And perfect for those nights you want to slip out without seeming rude.

While not a rule per se, Sarah also explained the one rule she passed down to her daughters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.

“I always say to my girls, when you’re out on the public stage, smile. If you don’t want to be polite, don’t go out on the public stage - because no one wants to see a grumpy princess.”

Did anyone ever share that lesson with famously sassy and short-tempered Princess Margaret..? 

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.