PRINCESS DIANA was known for her glamour and charm – and according to Sir Elton John’s autobiography, even the Hollywood actors Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere argued over her affections at a dinner party.
Diana was thrust into the limelight from a young age – she was only 20 years old when she wed Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne. She became an international sensation almost overnight, known for her warm and approachable nature which bucked the royal convention of remaining aloof. Her fame meant she came to rub shoulders with many A-list celebrities including George Michael, Freddie Mercury and Elton John.
She met Elton back in 1981, and they came close friends.
In his autobiography, ‘Me: Elton John’, released late last year, the musician discussed his close relationship with the ‘People’s Princess’ and the royal’s magnetic personality.
He described her as “fabulous company”, “the best dinner party guest” and “a real gossip”.
She made a clear impression on everyone she met, so much so that then-Prime Minister Tony Blair dubbed her the ‘People’s Princess’ following her tragic death in 1997.
Diana, Princess of Wales (Image: Getty)
Richard Gere, Diana and Sylvester Stallone (Image: Getty)
In his autobiography, Elton also observed how “straight men” seemed “to completely lose their minds her presence”.
He added: “They were just utterly bewitched.”
The musician explained one particular incident which happened when he was working on the soundtrack for ‘The Lion King’ in the early Nineties.
He and his partner David Furnish threw a dinner party for the head of Disney, Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn. They invited Diana, George Michael, Richard Curtis and his wife Emma Freud, Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone.
Diana was very close with Elton John (Image: Getty)
According to Elton, “the most peculiar scene developed” very soon into the evening.
He added: “Straight away, Richard Gere and Diana seemed overtaken with each other.”
Diana had been separated from Charles for two years at the time, while Richard had broken up with Cindy Crawford relatively recently.
They seemed to have an immediate connection.
However, not everyone enjoyed the pair’s “rapt conversation”.
Diana shot to fame when she became engaged to Prince Charles (Image: Getty)
However, their marriage soon ended in a messy divorce (Image: Getty)
Elton continued: “The sight of Diana and Richard Gere’s newly blossoming friendship was not going down very well with Sylvester Stallone at all.
“I think he might have turned up to the party with the express intention of picking Diana up, only to find his plans for the evening unexpectedly ruined.”
When Elton and the other guests moved into the dining room to have dinner, Richard and Sylvester appeared to disappear.
The musician wrote: “It transpired that when David had gone out to find them, he’d discovered Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere in the corridor, squaring up to each other, apparently about to settle their differences over Diana by having a fistfight.”
Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone are two Hollywood stars who were both interested in Diana (Image: Getty)
Although no fistfight actually took place, Sylvester continued to fume throughout the evening while Richard returned to flirt with Diana.
Sylvester told Elton and David: “I never would have come if I’d known Prince f****** Charming was gonna be here.”
Although he then added: “If I’d wanted her, I would’ve taken her!”
Elton described this peculir evening as part of the “Diana Effect” which the Princess often had on anyone who met her – she was so captivating, she could even “bring Hollywood superstars to the verge of a punch-up”.
Diana suddenly died in 1997, from injuries sustained in a car crash in Paris.
Her death sent shockwaves around the world, and her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, still try to maintain her legacy more than two decades on.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK