They were two of the most famous people in the world. They remain two of the most-missed people of all time, decades after both their untimely deaths. In both cases, the sadness at their loss is balanced by the continuing joy their memories bring. It is important to remember that both had a tremendous appetite for life and a huge capacity for finding that joy themselves, even in the most difficult of circumstances. The crazy night they spent together is the perfect example of this. It seems to hard to believe that it happened and that they got away with it at the time.
It sounds like an urban myth but Freddie, Diana, Kenny Everett and Cleo Rocos went on a crazy adventure to legendary gay venue The Vauxhall Tavern. What was so extraordinary is that nobody there recognised the princess in her daring disguise.
In her books The Power of Positive Drinking, and Kenny and Me: Bananas Forever, Rocos revealed Diana was at Freddie’s house one evening and asked to tag along when the group decided to head out on the town.
They dressed her up as a man and hit the bar, convinced they would be discovered immediately. Extraordinarily, what happened next reduced the group to giggles.
Rocos said: “When we walked in… we felt she was obviously Princess Diana and would be discovered at any minute. But people just seemed to blank her. She sort of disappeared. But she loved it.
“Freddie said, ‘Go on, let the girl have some fun.’ 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… 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!”
It seems impossible to believe and yet nobody in the crowd ever realised they had been standing there next to the Princess of Wales, the most famous woman in the entire world. For someone who never escaped the relentless spotlight, it must have been a tremendous moment of freedom.
The princess, of course, looked equally good in jeans or a gown and certainly had the height and looks to pull off the deception. What is wonderful to remember is that she also had the daring and playful nature to do it in the first place.
The loss of both Freddie and Diana must be mourned, of course, but their irrepressible and joyous spirits must also be remembered.