Which Celebrities Did Princess Diana Befriend?
Princess Diana may have been known as the People’s Princess, but she could have also been called the Celebrity’s Princess. Over the course of her short life (she died at age 36), Diana was seen hobnobbing with many celebrities, from Elizabeth Taylor to Elton John.
But which of these famous faces really counted Diana as a friend? Let’s take a look back at some of the celebrities who Princess Diana truly befriended.
Diana and the “Candle in the Wind” singer had a long but complicated friendship, according to Harper’s Bazaar. The two met at Prince Andrew’s birthday party in 1981 and hit it off right away. A friendship was born, but it hit a rough patch when John included photos of Diana and her two children in a 1997 coffee table book, Rock and Royalty, with designer Gianni Versace.
Diana and John patched things up when Versace was murdered a few months later. They attended his funeral together and John said she helped keep him calm during the emotional event.
Michael Jackson was the biggest pop star in the world in the 1980s, and like many people, Princess Diana was a fan. She finally had a chance to meet him at a concert in 1988, and the two became friends.
“We were very close, especially over the phone,” Jackson said in 1994, adding that Diana would call him to talk about her children and her struggles with the press. He later said the two related to each other because they both faced intense media scrutiny. “Lady Diana, in real truth, was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known, because we could relate to each other,” he said. “We shared something in common, with the press. I don’t think they hounded anyone more than her and myself.”
Liza Minnelli and Princess Di were also friends, with Minnelli saying that the two “could just be ourselves around each other.”
“I was lucky enough to count Princess Di as a friend,” Minnelli said. “[W]e’d bump into each other at premieres or events where she’d be the guest of honor. We’d fall into conversation then we’d meet for tea. Later on, she’d come to my hotel and we’d have lunch, just the two of us. I think she liked that. I certainly did. My instinct was to protect her.”
The editor of Vogue became friends with Diana after the two worked together to throw a fashion benefit for cancer. The steely fashionista was able to make Diana relax, according to a profile in the New Yorker.
‘Whether it was attending a charity event or wearing a designer, she did a world of good,” Wintour said after Diana’s death.
The Princess of Wales also struck up a friendship with Kay Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post. Graham kept a signed photo of Diana in her library and invited her to her summer home on Martha’s Vineyard. And Diana professed her love for Graham, saying “I love her. I really do.”
Graham spoke of Diana’s eagerness to do good, recalling the time she asked her to be the guest of honor at a benefit for breast cancer research. “”I called her and said, ‘Look, can you possibly do this?’” Graham said. ”She didn’t say, ‘I’ll think about it’ or ‘I can call you back’ or ‘I’ll ask my committee.’ She just said yes.”
Anna Wintour wasn’t the only famous fashion editor Diana was close to. She was also friends with Liz Tilberis, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar. Tilberis helped transform Diana from a mere princess into a fashion icon, while Diana was supportive during Tilberis’s battle with ovarian cancer.
“’I am deeply saddened and horrified by the news of the Princess of Wales’s death,” Tilberis said in a statement after Diana died. ”She was a wonderfully supportive and close friend to me and my family as she was caring and compassionate in times of need.”
Raine Spencer may not be a famous name, but Diana’s stepmother was one of Diana’s confidantes. But the two weren’t always friendly.
For years, Diana had a famously frosty relationship with her stepmother Raine, Countess Spencer, even referring to her by the nasty nickname “Acid Raine.” But as an adult (and after her father’s death) Diana reassessed her relationship with her stepmother. The two reconciled, Tina Brown wrote in her biography of Diana, and “were often sighted deep in tête-à-têtes in the grill at the Connaught hotel.”
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