July 06, 1987 12:00 PM

Fergie, the Duchess of York, pelted her husband with a rubber chicken leg. Prince Andrew shouted himself hoarse. Princess Anne dashed about in a cape, looking like a refugee from Henry VIII’s court. Occasionally accused of making fools of themselves for free, those rollicking Windsors were at it again, this time for charity.

It was theatrical Prince Edward who organized The Grand Knockout Tournament, a sort of feudal trash-sport competition for TV. The event, held at an amusement park in Staffordshire, raised some $1.6 million. The royal quartet (Princess Di and Prince Charles were in Windsor) joined 48 other cavorting celebs, including John Travolta, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder and Jane Seymour. Rock singer Meat Loaf got so carried away in the knock-a-knight contest that he split his pants in front of Fergie. “She wasn’t a bit embarrassed and thought it was a real hoot,” he reported.

Shown on the BBC June 19, Knock-out will air stateside Aug. 12 on cable’s USA network. Only Queen Elizabeth—who did not attend—failed to get into the spirit of things. Apparently thinking it beneath royal dignity to slide along a greasy pole above a tub of ice water, rescue damsels in distress or play chase the leeks, the Queen decreed the young bluebloods could serve only as team captains, not participants. Forsooth, Liz, lighten up, willya?

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