Champagne, Golden Girls, and sneaking out in disguise - Princess Diana's fun night with Freddie Mercury and friends

Princess Diana (Photo: Getty Images)
Princess Diana (Photo: Getty Images)

Princess Diana had a long list of A-list friends who absolutely adored her. And while you may have heard of her bond with Elton John and remember the night she danced with John Travolta in her iconic 'revenge dress', you probably didn't know she would sometimes hang out with rockstar Freddie Mercury.

One anecdote, which Rami Malek, who played Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, recalled on the red carpet at the 2019 SAG Awards, included disguising Princess Diana as a man and sneaking her into a gay bar, reports HELLO! Magazine.

"Now, I don't know if that's true, this might be an urban legend," he said, but actress, Cleo Rocos, wrote about the night in her memoir, which all started with a binge-watching session with her famous friends, while they sipped champagne.

According to Vanity Fair, Diana, Cleo, Freddie as well as comedian, Kenny Everett, were spending the afternoon together, as they often do "drinking champagne in front of reruns of The Golden Girls with the sound turned down". Why? They loved improvising show dialogue with "a much naughtier storyline," Vanity Fair reports, according to Cleo's recollection.

Diana, "in full mischief mode", asked the group what their plans were for the evening and insisted on joining. Though the group was cautious, worried about the paparazzi, of course, the Queen frontman devised a plan and told the others: "Go on, let the girl have some fun."

According to BBC, Cleo shared that they all eventually agreed, and went on to have a drink at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a gay bar and nightclub. They dressed Diana in an army coat, leather cap and a pair of Freddie's mirrored aviator shades.

"Scrutinising her in the half light we decided that the most famous icon of the modern world might just – just – pass for a rather eccentrically dressed gay male model," Cleo wrote in the 2013 biography.

"The place was full. It took an absolute eon to edge our way to the bar, with person after person cheerfully greeting us. It was fabulously outrageous and so bizarrely exciting. Our hearts pounded with every new leather-clad hairy body that approached, but no one, absolutely no-one, recognised Diana," she said.

"On 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!

"Never has going to a bar been quite so exhilarating and fun. We then made a swift exit, a cab was hailed and we whisked Diana back to Kensington Palace. The jolly queens queuing outside unknowingly waved back as their 'queen of hearts' waved goodbye. Not a single person ever found us out."  

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