The True Story of Princess Diana’s 1989 New York Journey

The season four finale of The Crown dramatizes the ultimate collapse of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s marriage, towards the backdrop of a political disaster as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is ousted by her personal social gathering. The cracks within the Wales’s marriage begin to grow to be public when Diana takes a solo journey throughout the pond to New York and is greeted with adulation from the press and public alike—emphasizing simply how a lot her star is eclipsing her husband’s.

As ever, the present sticks near the reality in some respects, whereas taking dramatic license with others, together with the timeline of Diana’s well-known encounter with an AIDS affected person. Here is your information to Diana’s actual 1989 journey to NYC.

The journey fueled rumors about Charles and Diana’s marital hassle.

Diana arrived in New York on February 1, 1989, touching down at John F. Kennedy airport by way of the now-discontinued Concorde jet. It wasn’t her first solo royal engagement abroad—that was method again in 1982, when she represented the queen at Grace of Monaco’s funeral. However this was Diana’s first official go to to New York, and the truth that Charles didn’t accompany her raised eyebrows. Per ABC, the Prince’s absence fueled rumors concerning the state of the couple’s marriage. Nonetheless, Diana’s “dazzling smile and character…received over New Yorkers.”

Her three-day journey concerned a go to to the Henry Road Settlement on the Decrease East Aspect, the place The New York Occasions reported she was greeted by lots of of individuals lining the sidewalk. “The Princess smiled, shook just a few outstretched palms and accepted a bouquet of flowers from a younger boy,” the paper wrote.

diana at the henry street settlement

Diana visits the Henry Road Settlement on the Decrease East Aspect in New York Metropolis in February 1989.

Princess Diana ArchiveGetty Photographs

Diana additionally visited the Brooklyn Academy of Music because the particular visitor for its 1989 Royal Gala, which featured a efficiency of Verdi’s Falstaff by the Welsh Nationwide Opera. Diana was patron of the WNO on the time.

Karen Brooks Hopkins, President Emerita of BAM, recounted her expertise with Diana in an essay for Individuals: “I can let you know that the rollout of a royal go to is meticulous,” Hopkins wrote. “She is not only an individual however an business, and each second is designed to maximise the fantasy, magnificence and thriller of royalty—and our Diana was the quintessential princess. She was tall, younger, swish, lovely and an actual skilled.”

The viewers was filled with “everybody in New York,” Hopkins recalled (the subtext being: everybody who’s anybody.) That included celebrities, politicians, and, uh… Donald Trump and his then-wife, Ivana. “The safety workforce was large—NYPD, Scotland Yard, Her Majesty’s personal personal pressure and the FBI. These guys do not idiot round.”

princess diana in new york

Left, Princess Diana visits the Brooklyn Academy of Music on February 2, 1989. Proper, Emma Corrin recreates the second in The Crown.

Getty / Netflix

The reactions to Diana in New York weren’t totally optimistic.

All through the efficiency at BAM, The New York Occasions reported, “a number of hundred protesters against British rule in Northern Eire demonstrated throughout the road…most of the demonstrators performed bagpipes whereas others chanted ‘Princess Di go house.'”

Diana’s journey was “beneath immense scrutiny from the American press,” in keeping with journalist Anita Rani, who speaks about Diana’s journey to New York for a Netflix behind-the-scenes video. The New York Submit had dubbed Diana “probably the most well-known welfare mom on the planet,” previous to her arrival, and different publications criticized her high-fashion buying habits. Actually, her small entourage on this journey did not even embrace a hairdresser, so Diana did all of her personal styling in the course of the journey utilizing heated rollers.

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