Did Freddie Mercury really take Princess Diana to a London gay pub in the '80s?

24 April 2019, 17:30

Diana and Freddie Mercury
Diana and Freddie Mercury. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury were known to have a close friendship, and this included a special night out that has gone down in legend.

The late royal is said to have joined the Queen icon for a night at a London gay pub, along with their good friend Kenny Everett, at the height of their fame in the 1980s.

There has been plenty of speculation surrounding Diana’s trip to the famous Vauxhall Tavern over the years, and it was recently dramatised (with some poetic licence) in the Sky Arts series Urban Myths.

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The story goes that Freddie and Kenny dressed Diana up as a man, and took her to the iconic venue. Whether it actually happened or not is still a mystery, but various people have spoken about it, including the comedian Cleo Rocos.

In her book The Power of Positive Drinking, the TV star claimed that the group were having champagne at Kenny’s home, before Diana asked about their plans for the rest of the evening.

Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett with Billy Connolly in 1984
Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett with Billy Connolly in 1984. Picture: Getty

They said they were heading to the legendary gay venue in London – and Diana is believed to have asked if she could join them.

Kenny then allegedly dressed Diana up in his clothes, and Rocos claimed that she looked like "a rather eccentrically dressed gay male model."

Cleo wrote: "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!

"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."

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Cleo Rocos elaborated on the story in her other book Kenny and Me: Bananas Forever, in which she revealed the pair would watch Golden Girls together.

Urban Myths
Urban Myths. Picture: Sky Arts

"Freddie said, 'Go on, let the girl have some fun.' […] 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…

"We inched through the leather throngs and thongs, until finally we reached the bar. We were nudging each other like naughty schoolchildren."

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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!"

Urban Myths - which aired earlier this month - stars Mathew Baynton as Kenny Everett, David Avery as Freddie Mercury and Sophie Rundle as Princess Diana.

We may never know if this amazing night occurred, but we'd like to think it did!

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