British Royal Family

Princess Diana once performed a surprise dance for Prince Charles... and he HATED it

Princess Diana like you've never seen her before.

By Bella Brennan
We all know the story of Princess Diana's disco fever with John Travolta at the White House in 1985 but the Princess' love of dance stems right back to her childhood.
In fact, Diana longed to be a professional ballerina but ended up being too tall.
WATCH IN THE PLAYER ABOVE: Wayne Sleep remembers dancing with Princess Diana
Her love of dance and her attempts to use it in a bid to woo her husband Prince Charles are set to be explored in the upcoming season of The Crown, which will lift the lid on one scenario in particular which backfired spectacularly.
During the early days of her marriage to Prince Charles, Princess Diana was so keen to show off her twinkle toes that she secretly rehearsed a routine with dancer Wayne Sleep for months. Then one night in 1985, Diana and her husband headed to the Royal Opera House in London to catch a show.
At the gala, Diana excused herself from the Royal Box presumably to go to the loo.
Unbeknownst to the Prince of Wales, his wife had changed into a show-stopping silver gown and took to the stage to perform a once-in-a-lifetime jig to Uptown Girl by Billy Joel.
Seriously, why didn't iPhones exist back then?
In 1985, Princess Diana organised a surprise dance performance with ballet dancer Wayne Sleep for Prince Charles. (Image: Reg Wilson/Rex/Shutterstock)
While there's no footage of the performance, punters claim they were blown away when they spotted the glamorous young princess on stage.
"We did eight curtain calls… 2000 people with one gasp of breath together, I'd never heard that before," Wayne has since reflected of the moment Diana surprised the audience - her husband included.
"The routine had a bit of everything: jazz, ballet, even a kickline. At one point, I pirouetted and she pushed me down; then I carried her across the stage. I remember thinking, 'Don't drop the future Queen of England.' She loved it, but was most thrilled we'd kept it secret from Charles, and our rehearsals away from the paparazzi."
"They were in shock and then they realised it was her. I said now you have to bow to the royal box and she said 'I'm not bowing to him, he's my husband! I said, well I have to," the professional dancer revealed.
"We did eight curtain calls… 2000 people with one gasp of breath together, I'd never heard that before," Sleep reflected. (Image: Reg Wilson/Rex/Shutterstock)
Sadly, as Andrew Morton writes in his book Diana Her True Story, Prince Charles publicly praised the stunt but behind closed doors, he reportedly chastised his partner for being too much of a show off.
Reflecting on recreating the surprise dance performance, actress Emma Corrin, who is playing Princess Diana in the latest season of The Crown, told The Australian Women's Weekly it was heartbreaking to delve into such a turbulent period of Diana's life.
Behind closed doors, Prince Charles was reportedly furious over the dance. (Image: Reg Wilson/Rex/Shutterstock)
"There were intense days, especially with Diana, it's so dark so much of the time."
"You have these two things running in parallel – the mounting tragedy of her marriage failing, and also her growth and popularity and celebrity in the world," Emma explained.
The Crown's fourth season will be available to stream on Netflix on Sunday 15 November.

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