In a story that’s just way too deliciously ’80s, it’s been claimed that Freddie Mercury once dressed the late Princess Diana as a man – in an army jacket, leather cap and aviator sunglasses – and took her out to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a notorious gay bar, for the night, along with comedians Cleo Rocos and Kenny Everett. The awesome story came to light as Cleo’s book, The Power of Positive Drinking, is currently being serialized in The Sunday Times.
“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.”
“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, recognized Diana.
“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.”
“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.”
This story is great, and totally something I can see Diana doing, without a doubt, because she just didn’t give a shit (in the best possible way). It’s the reason she never fully “fit in” to the royal family, and the reason so many loved her. I just wish there were pictures of this magical night!