Princess Diana ‘disguised in drag’ to get into a gay club, with the help of her friend, Queen’s frontman, Freddie Mercury.
The ‘people’s princess’ was admired within the LGBTQ community because of her involvement with the fight against AIDS, and now it’s come to light Diana’s affection didn’t stop there.
In a memoir written by actor Cleo Rocos, it has been revealed that the princess once went to a gay club with Mercury, Rocos and the comedian Kenny Everett.
The pair were a different kind of royalty, with Freddie being the frontman of Queen and Diana being the Princess of Wales. But it seems they hit it off in more ways than one, as the two friends regularly spent time together and, as Rocos explains, enjoyed the same kind of nightlife.
In the memoir, the actress explained how the group had been drinking champagne at Everett’s home when Diana asked about their evening plans.
When the group replied saying they were planning to visit the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, one of the most iconic gay venues in London, the princess immediately said she wanted to go with them.
Initially, the actress said the group were wary, writing:
‘What would be the headline if you were caught in a gay bar brawl?’. But Diana was in full mischief mode. Freddie said, ‘Go on, let the girl have some fun.’
Obviously, it wasn’t possible for Diana to attend without attempting some sort of disguise, which is when it was decided she was to dress in drag.
Everett gave her the outfit he had intended to wear, which consisted of an army jacket, dark aviator sunglasses, and a leather cap to hide her hair; the result being that Diana resembled ‘a rather eccentrically dressed gay male model’.
The plan was in place, all the group had to do was sneak the princess into the bar without anyone knowing who she was. And it worked! The memoir details how the crowd ignored Diana completely, too awestruck by the presence of Mercury, Everett and Rocos.
We inched through the leather throngs and thongs, until finally we reached the bar. We were nudging each other like naughty schoolchildren.
Diana and Freddie were giggling, but she did order a white wine and a beer. Once the transaction was completed, we looked at one another, united in our triumphant quest. We did it!
She went on to say:
When we walked in . . . we felt she was obviously Princess Diana and would be discovered at any minute. But people just seemed to blank her. She sort of disappeared. But she loved it.
The group only stayed for 20 minutes, with Rocos stating they didn’t want to risk pushing their luck. However, the brief moment of freedom meant everything to Diana.
She reportedly said:
We must do it again!
After both Mercury and Everett passed away from AIDS-related illnesses in the 1990s, Diana became the patron of the National AIDS Trust, one of the UK’s leading organisations devoted to the illness.
The princess remains an icon to the LGBTQ community to this day.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).