Did Princess Diana really dance to Uptown Girl as shown in The Crown Episode 9?

And did Prince Charles really hate his birthday surprise?

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 30 November 2020 17:08
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Diana dances to 'Uptown Girl' for Charles in The Crown

The Crown viewers have been left wondering if several scenes featured in the show actually happened in real life.

One such moment occurs in the new season’s ninth episode, which focuses on the dissolution of Charles and Diana’s marriage.

The opening of the episode sees them attend a ballet gala on Charles’ birthday. 

Towards the end of the performance, Diana slinks away only to appear on stage during the encore, to Charles’s shock.

She is shown dancing to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” as the crowd applaud and watch on in surprise.

At the end of the performance, she holds her hand up to her husband, proclaiming “Happy birthday.”

However, on their way home after the show, Charles expresses his disgust at the surprise and at how she would be all over the headlines the following day.

The performance itself actually did happen. It occurred at a private gala in 1985, with royal expert Richard Kay claiming it was a “present that backfired” in documentary Princess Diana: The Woman Inside.

Diana was taught daily lessons in order to pull off the surprise, and Kay said that Charles “wasn’t terribly impressed”.

The ballet dancer Diana is seen dancing with is Wayne Sleep, who reflected upon the moment in a new interview with The Telegraph.

“She rang me and said, ‘I want to dance with you at Covent Garden this Christmas for the big Christmas gala party that they do as a thank you to all the supporters of the opera house’." 

He admitted to being “nervous” ahead of the moment.

In the series, Charles and Diana are played by Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin.

The Crown is available to stream on Netflix now, and you can find a rundown of the fourth season’s accuracy here.

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