10 surprising Princess Diana celebrity connections

Lily Collins, Bryan Adams, Cindy Crawford and more celebs who've been linked to the People’s Princess.
January 6, 2022 11:30 a.m. EST
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The year marks the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic death, but celebrities are still fondly recalling the People’s Princess and their unique connections with her. How could they not, especially since her impact is still felt around the world? But while we know that Di was friends with the likes of Elton John, Liza Minnelli, and George Michael, here are 10 other bold-name connections you may not know about.  

1. Lily Collins

In a recent interview with James Corden, Emily in Paris star Lily Collins revealed that as a two-year-old, she went to a Prince’s Trust event with her parents, Phil Collins and Jill Tavelman. There, she had flowers to give to Diana. But when the Princess tried to take them, Collins didn’t want to let go. “So as you can imagine, all the air was sucked out of the room,” she recalled. Later, the tot also threw one of her toys at Prince Charles’ head.

2. Bryan Adams

Did Diana have a romance with a famous Canadian? According to Adams’ ex, actress Cecile Thomsen, they did. However, Adams has said on the record that he and the princess were just friends. In a 2018 Watch What Happens Live interview, Adams admitted he’d even visit her at Kensington Palace. “She didn’t sneak me in, I would just roll up,” he said at the time.

3. Oliver Platt

When you’re a royal, people seem to be kind of obsessed with your genealogy. So of course, plenty of people have dug into Princess Diana’s family tree. As it turns out, she’s second cousins once-removed with American actor Oliver Platt. However, the pair never met before her death.

4. Humphrey Bogart

No word on whether Diana was a Casablanca fan, but another famous and surprising connection that researchers have since uncovered about her genealogy is that she was seventh cousins with Humphrey Bogart.

5. Freddie Mercury

It’s pretty well known that the late Queen frontman and Di were buds, but did you know that they used to watch reruns of Golden Girls together? According to one biography by Cleo Rocos, they used to redub the episodes as they watched. Another lesser-known tidbit? Mercury once disguised Princess Di as a man and smuggled her into a gay bar. Now that’s true friendship.

6. Michael Jackson

Diana was reportedly a Michael Jackson superfan, which he didn’t know when he heard she and Prince Charles were coming to his 1988 performance at Wembley Stadium. Out of respect for the Princess, Jackson reportedly axed his song “Dirty Diana” from the setlist. However, when Diana found out, she insisted he sing it anyhow. He did, and he later revealed to Barbara Walters that when he started singing the song, Diana jumped to her feet and danced as Charles sat and watched beside her.  

7. Cindy Crawford

You know your mom loves you when she invites models over for your birthday. According to Cindy Crawford, Diana once rang up her assistant and invited her—along with fellow 1990s supermodels Christy Turlington and Claudia Schiffer—for tea. “I think Prince William was just starting to notice models and she thought it would be a cute surprise for him and Prince Harry,” she recalled in an Instagram post.

8. John Travolta

Diana must have been a secret fan of Travolta’s dance moves in Saturday Night Fever or maybe even Grease. Or, maybe both? Regardless, when she attended a gala at the White House in 1985, First Lady Nancy Reagan told Travolta that it was Diana’s “wish” to dance with him. He was to tap her on the shoulder and ask, “Would you care to dance?” So he did, they danced, and he later revealed that he regaled her with his theory on jet lag while they moved. Eventually, Tom Selleck asked if he could cut in.

9. Naomi Watts

There have been a few notable actors that have taken on the role of Princess Di over the years (here’s looking at you, Kristen Stewart, Emma Corrin and Elizabeth Debicki). But in 2013, Naomi Watts tried to embody the People’s Princess. Diana wasn’t a hit with audiences or critics, but Watts really did try her best—she hired a dialogue coach, watched interviews, physically transformed with prosthetics and even claimed Diana visited her in a dream to give her permission to tackle the role. 

10. Bridgerton

It turns out the entire celebrity cast of Bridgerton has a surprise connection with Princess Di: her childhood home was the inspiration behind the Bridgerton house on the series. No wonder so many people love the show.

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