Even 24 years after her passing, Princess Diana’s kindness and grace continues to touch and inspire people all over the world, whether they knew her personally or not. And for those who were lucky enough to spend time with her, the impression she made on them stands firm after all these years. The actress and author Joan Collins recently shared some of her favorite moments with Diana, whom she describes as a “phenomenon.”
For the People Magazine’s Royals’ fall issue, she writes about her run-ins with the people’s princess at various events. Collins opens the piece by recalling when they both wore gowns by British designer Bruce Oldfield while attending a charity event in 1985, which left the press buzzing.
“She was in silver lamé with big shoulder pads, and I was in white silk, also with big shoulder pads,” she reflects. “The next day the tabloids all had Dynasty Di meets Alexis. She was called Dynasty Di a lot because some of the clothes that she wore were quite similar to what I wore on Dynasty.“
The two also shared a moment where Diana asked Collins about a frenzy of paparazzi near the red carpet, “She said, ‘Oh my God, is it always like this?’ I said, ‘You’ll get used to it.’ She said, ‘I don’t know if I will.'”
Although Collins only saw Diana five or six times after that event, she adds that the Princess of Wales was always charming and down-to-earth — and she often showed her humorous side. While at a restaurant together, Diana jokingly described a recent lunch with King Juan Carlos of Spain as, “One of the most boring lunches I’ve ever had.”
Diana’s compassion and love also showed in her humanitarian work. Collins believes her selfless acts like when she held the hands of AIDS patients in 1987 and how she raised awareness about landmines in 1997, were key to bringing the royal family into the 21st century regarding issues affecting millions of people.
To this day, Collins remembers the news of Diana’s passing, which really shocked her and the rest of the world: “She would be 60-years-old now. When I think of all the life that she could have lived, it’s just very sad.”
However, she believes Diana’s legacy of helping others lives on through her children. “I think that that has rubbed off on her sons, particularly Prince William, and also I think that Princess Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is following in her footsteps,” she says.
It’s always refreshing to hear heartfelt stories from Joan Collins and others who have spent time with Princess Diana. These reflections are what will keep her impact and memory strong for years to come!