Princess Diana Had a Sweet Connection to ‘General Hospital’
Princess Diana will probably always be regarded as “The People’s Princess” and she remains a fascinating figure in the royal family. She was known for being down to earth, stylish, and funny, and like most of us, she enjoyed a nice slice of entertainment.
While today’s royals are said to be fans of TV shows such as Killing Eve and The Crown, Princess Diana had her own favorite series, and one of them was an American daytime drama.
Princess Diana was a huge fan of ‘General Hospital’
It is no secret the late princess was really into music, film, and TV during her era, having danced with John Travolta and chilled with Elton John. One of her guilty pleasures was watching General Hospital.
Rumor has it that she discovered it during one of her visits to the US, and was drawn into the storylines, including the famous Luke and Laura relationship. Diana was hooked and she found a way to watch the show back home.
Princess Diana sent gifts to ‘General Hospital’ stars
As everyone knows, one of GH’s most monumental moments was the wedding of the then-supercouple Luke and Laura. The televised fictional ceremony rivaled that of Prince Charles and Diana’s with 30 million viewers, and the event warranted a special gift from the royal fan.
During a 2015 interview with Here & Now, actor Anthony Geary—who played Luke Spencer on the series—shared what happened:
Princess Diana had been a fan of the show, and got bootlegged copies of General Hospital sent to her, because GH never ran in the U.K. And from her wedding she wrote a note to both Genie Francis, who played Laura, and I, and sent us both bottles of champagne from her wedding. It was a heady moment for both of us. Very amazing.
Diana was a newlywed at the time, as her royal wedding took place in July 1981. And in November 1981, fans tuned in for the fairytale vow exchange between Luke and Laura. The celebratory timing lined up.
Geary later joked that he drank all of his Bollinger bubbly and turned the empty bottle into a lamp.
Genie Francis was honored but she was a little confused
It was lovely gesture from the princess, but the gift caught Francis by surprise. The series turned the young actress into a celebrity when she was still a teenager, and she was only 19 when her character Laura wed Luke. In contrast, Princess Diana turned 20 shortly before marrying Prince Charles.
Francis told Katie Couric that when the champagne gift and the congratulatory note arrived, she didn’t know the person who sent it. She did note there was a lot of excitement.
Francis said someone had to explain to her who “Lady Diana Spencer” was as she was very young and did not understand. Since then, it’s been one of Francis’—and Geary’s—most cherished memories from her time on GH.