Before Princess Diana entered into her “grotesque misunderstanding” with Prince Charles, she was just a 19-year-old who liked to party. In the new series of Kronen, we see the soon-to-be princess (played by Emma Corrin) going out with her girlfriends and dancing at tables for Stevie Nicks. She may not have followed a strict protocol from the palace, but it is clear that she loved a royally good evening.
There have been many well-documented scenes of Diana on the dance floor – especially in the Netflix series; ballroom dance with Charles in Sydney and then throw some characters to Billy Joels Uptown Girl at the Royal Opera House ̵
It is a story now embedded in the city legend. It first came to light in 2013 when, in Rocos’ memoir, ‘The Power of Positive Drinking’, she described a relaxed day in the life of the biggest rock star on the planet, the Princess of Wales, a much-loved comedian and actor, Rocos.
The group apparently spent the afternoon drinking Champagne and watching The golden girls – very Lockdown Two – replay of their own “naughty dialogue” over the muted TV show.
In the evening, the loud jinks escalated and the band decided to go to the club for the iconic gay cabaret bar, Royal Vaxhaull Tavern in south London. Diana said she was in “full mischief mode,” and Mercury agreed, “Go ahead, let the girl have fun.”
But there was just the question of how Diana, one of the most famous faces on the planet, could be passed on unnoticed to the other clubs. The answer: by making her a “pretty eccentrically dressed gay male model.”
The trio made her look more masked by styling her in a baseball cap, sunglasses and an army bomber jacket. Rocos said, “She looked like a handsome young man.”
The friends got through the Vauxhall club – “emptied themselves through the leather crowds and troops” – and it was only fair that it was Diana’s round at the bar after her drag-king makeover. Her order? White wines and beers.
Rocos added in his book: “When we walked in … we felt that she was obviously Princess Diana and would be discovered at any moment. But people just seemed to empty her. She kind of disappeared. But she loved it.
“We pushed each other like naughty school children. Diana and Freddie giggled … Once the transaction was complete, we looked at each other, gathered in our triumphant quest. We did it!”
The band then left after just 20 minutes – presumably for an afterparty that was too spicy for even Rocos to put on pressure.
While Kronen unfortunately not focusing on this particular rock ‘n’ roll-meets-royalty episode, it’s something that has previously been worth adapting to on a small screen. In 2019, Sky Arts’ Urban Myths series aired the program Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett, who imagine the epic evening out even more.
In it, the fictional Diana (played by Sophie Rundle) becomes friends with a drag queen in the inn, and it inspires her to start her campaign for gay rights and her work with those who have HIV / AIDS. She concludes with the realization: “The next time people turn around and expect me to speak, I actually have to say something.” She is then pushed home by Mercury and Everett in a supermarket cart.
While this particular reworking of Rocos’ story is, of course, an escape, it’s still a joy to see the experience come to life on screen. And fans are now desperate for it to be recreated for the next series of Kronen. A Twitter viewer said: “I pretty much only watch Kronen in case they do “Diana & Freddie Mercury go to Vauxhall Tavern” bit, as we all know, the only royal family related story is worth putting on the screen. “Another commented:” If there is not a scene in Kronen series five, where Diana is brought to The RVT in a row by Freddie Mercury, we sue Netflix, “while another fan added:” Let’s start a petition! “
Whether or not author Peter Morgan chooses to accommodate their wishes for series five, it’s still one of the greatest pop culture stories of the ’80s. Has its correctness been confirmed? No, not exactly. Do we want it to be true? Absolutely.
With the invention of social media and camera phones for well over 30 years, no one ever managed to get a picture of it. But it’s pleasant to think that one night Diana and her friends got to experience a wild night of anonymity and joined the masses moving together on the dance floor – something that is just as poignant now that we have all taken this from us in 2020.
In a world where it is “pictures, or it did not happen”, this is an event where it is best remembered as an excellent – if still unconfirmed – anecdote.
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