From the initial notes of a popular national drinking anthem, Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping," echoing from Princess Diana's convertible as she arrives at Tony Blair's Chequers residence, the mid-90s music takes center stage in the concluding installment of The Crown.
Princess Diana's affinity for music is well-known, although her singing along to "Tubthumping" remains doubtful, especially since it was released just 20 days before her demise, not the eight weeks suggested by the show. References to her musical tastes are scattered throughout the last portrayal of the royals in Peter Morgan's "fictionalized" version.
In the initial four-episode segment of The Crown's ultimate season, Diana dons a stylish vintage Duran Duran t-shirt during her last vacation. Additionally, two George Michael tracks accompany her relationship with Dodi Al Fayed: "Fast Love" in episode one and "Spinning The Wheel" in episode two.
The burning question remains: What happened with Princess Diana and George Michael's friendship?
1. What happened with Princess Diana and George Michael's friendship? How did they meet?
Princess Diana and George Michael first crossed paths at the Live Aid concert held at Wembley on July 13, 1985. Despite both being iconic figures of the '80s, this event marked their initial meeting.
Diana, a fan of Michael during his Wham! days, reportedly harbored a crush on him. Their introduction at the stadium was recounted by the Daily Mirror, where Diana expressed that she found him "very gorgeous." Michael, in response, graciously replied, "Thank you, ma’am—you’re pretty smashing yourself."
According to George Michael's biographer James Gavin in "George Michael: A Life," this encounter marked the commencement of an awkward 12-year friendship between a enamored aristocrat and a discreetly private sex symbol.
2. How did their friendship develop?
By 1993, Princess Diana and George Michael had forged a strong bond, grounded in their similar ages and the shared experience of navigating the complex realm of fame. During this period, Michael was entangled in a legal dispute with Sony, and Diana played a supportive role, offering advice and comfort.
Their connection was marked by endearments, with the two addressing each other as "darling." Michael, as a gesture of their friendship, gifted Diana a gold watch. Reflecting on their relationship in a 2011 interview with the Huffington Post, Michael remarked on an intangible connection, attributing it more to their upbringing than anything else. He noted the perception of him being non-threatening, possibly stemming from his protective nature towards his sisters.
In the same interview, Michael hinted that Diana desired a more than platonic connection, despite his homosexuality. He acknowledged that certain incidents indicated her attraction to him, yet emphasized the prudence of not pursuing intimacy, recognizing the potential for disaster.
Towards the end of 1993, Diana enlisted Michael to headline her inaugural Concert For Hope, dedicated to World Aids Day. During his performance, he publicly acknowledged Diana, who adorned a white suit and a red Aids pin, expressing gratitude to "the lady who made this evening possible." Diana responded with a smile and a wave.
3. There was an leaked phone call.
According to a source, in 1996, Princess Diana reached out to George Michael to discuss her divorce from Charles. Initially, Michael did not answer the call, prompting Diana to begin leaving a message on his voicemail. Upon answering, their conversation unfolded, unbeknownst to them, as the tape continued recording.
Subsequently, the recorded tape fell into the hands of one of Michael's acquaintances, who, in turn, sold it to the press. In 2017, the contents of the call became public.
During the call, Michael inquired about the progress of her divorce, to which Diana responded, "It’s been pretty grim but we’re near the end of it," followed by a wry remark, "A very loving, compassionate family, this one I’m leaving."
4. How was Michael after Diana's death?
Following Princess Diana's tragic demise in a car crash in Paris in August 1997, George Michael experienced profound grief. Expressing his sorrow after her funeral, he drew parallels between Diana's passing and the recent death of his mother, Lesley, just six months earlier that year.
In a poignant tribute to both his former partner Anselmo Feleppa and the late Princess Diana, Michael released the single "You Have Been Loved." The song, while commemorating his personal loss, also served as a fitting tribute to Diana. However, the track was denied the number one chart position, eclipsed by the dedicated song for Diana by their mutual friend Elton John, the re-written "Candle In The Wind."
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