Princess Diana Loved ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and Called the Film ‘so Naughty’

Princess Diana loved romantic comedies or rom-coms so much she hosted a private screening of When Harry Met Sally starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal at Buckingham Palace after she attended the film’s London premiere in 1989. Keep reading to learn why members of the cast were nervous for Princess Diana to watch the film and how she reacted to the film’s now-iconic orgasm scene. 

At a special 30-year anniversary screening of When Harry Met Sally at the TCM Classic Film Festival earlier this year, director Rob Reiner revealed Princess Diana’s reaction to the famous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene in the movie. 

During a red carpet interview with Extra, Reiner remembered the film’s London premiere which Princess Diana attended. He explained how she reacted to the famous scene in which Ryan’s character faked an orgasm in a restaurant. An elderly woman — Reiner’s mother in real life — witnessed the scene and delivered the movie’s most famous line when she said: “I’ll have what she’s having.” 

Rob Reiner on Princess Diana’s reaction to the movie’s famous deli scene. | Extra via YouTube

Ahead of the 30th-anniversary screening, Reinier reminisced on the film with Ryan and Crystal. According to Reiner, they recalled how nervous they were for Princess Diana to watch the movie. 

“I sat with Billy and Meg yesterday. We remembered the time when we showed it in London for Princess Di,” Reiner told Extra. “We were all sitting there nervous because as we approached the famous scene in Katz’s Deli where my mother says, ‘I’ll have what she’s having,’ we realize ‘Oh my God. I wonder how she’s gonna react to it?’”

Reiner continued, “And she laughed, she was laughing. And she turned to Billy at one point and she said, ‘I would be laughing a lot more but I know everybody’s watching me.”’ 

As it turned out, the cast had nothing to worry about because Princess Diana loved the movie. She reportedly loved it so much she arranged a screening of When Harry Met Sally for her friends at Buckingham Palace. 

Princess Diana’s reaction to the scene demonstrates her great sense of humor, a trait both her sons Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, have discussed in the past. 

Princess Diana, attends the Premiere of 'When Harry Met Sally' and talks to actors Meg Ryan and actor Billy Crystal who star in the film.
The Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, attends the Premiere of When Harry met Sally, in London’s West End. She talks to actors Meg Ryan and actor Billy Crystal who star in the film, November 30, 1989. | Kent Gavin/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

In the 2016 documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Prince William said his late mother “really enjoyed the laughter and the fun.” She definitely had fun. Princess Diana celebrated Prince William’s 13th birthday by introducing him to supermodels of the day and giving him a breast-shaped cake. 

Billy Crystal on Princess Diana’s reaction to orgasm scene

Reiner’s interview about how Princess Diana felt about When Harry Met Sally isn’t the first. In Erin Carlson’s 2017 book, I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy, Crystal spoke with the author about Princess Diana’s reaction to the orgasm scene, according to Marie Claire

“When the orgasm scene starts, she was laughing so hard, just belching it out. She had the kind of laugh where if you were on a date, you’d never want to see her again,” Crystal said. “Then she grabbed my hand and said, ‘So naughty.'”

“I’ll have what she’s having” scene in When Harry Met Sally. | Movie Clips via YouTube

Princess Diana’s laugh is a memory Prince Harry holds dear, according to an interview he gave in the aforementioned documentary about his mother. 

He explained when people ask him about memories of his mother, her laugh comes to mind. 

“All I can hear is her laugh in my head, and that sort of crazy laugh of where there was just pure happiness shown on her face,” he said in the documentary. No doubt, the laugh Crystal heard at the London premiere of When Harry Met Sally is the same one Prince Harry fondly remembers. 

Here’s a fun fact about Princess Diana and When Harry Met Sally. At Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding reception, they had a signature cocktail appropriately named When Harry Met Meghan, a play on the classic rom-coms title.