'The Crown' Season 4 Episode 9: Did Diana really dance to 'Uptown Girl'? Here's the truth about her performance
Viewers may be surprised at first to hear Billy Joel's 'Uptown Girl' playing in Episode 9 of 'The Crown' — reminding many younger viewers that this is not as ancient as we sometimes feel it to be
Spoilers for 'The Crown' Season 4
It would not be a stretch to say that Season 4 of 'The Crown' on Netflix is as much about the late Princess Diana as it is about Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Coleman). Diana is played by the inimitable Emma Corrin in her first appearance on the show — and steals every single scene she is a part of. The pressure on Corrin must have been high enough to portray the most beloved member of the royal family in the 20th century and she easily manages to capture everything that Diana represented.
Of course, in the more than two decades that have passed since her death, the problems between her and her former husband, Charles, the Prince of Wales, is common knowledge. Charles went on to marry his "one true love" as Josh O'Connor says as Prince Charles in 2005, a decade after he divorced Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles divorced her husband.
While Charles may have always been in love with Camilla, Diana was head over heels in love with the future King of England. As Princess Anne (Erin Doherty) tells her mother, Diana fell madly in love with Charles, who was in love with Camilla, who was in love with someone else.
That is not to say that Diana never tried. On the day of Charles' 37th birthday, Diana had a special performance planned for him. Viewers may be surprised at first to hear Billy Joel's 'Uptown Girl' playing in Episode 9 of 'The Crown' — reminding many younger viewers that this is not as ancient as we sometimes feel it to be — and even more surprised to see Diana walk on to the stage and then dance in front of the audience.
And while Diana was pleased with everything that went on that evening — including an eight-minute standing ovation — Charles was angry about the public display, perhaps more so because the focus was on Diana rather than on him.
This may seem like it was an unlikely event, but Diana did, in fact, dance to 'Uptown Girl' on stage. She had been planning the performance for a long time and approached dancer Wayne Sleep and rehearsed the performance with him for a long time.
Sleep told The Guardian of the performance, "The audience gasped when Diana appeared, as if they’d all taken one huge breath. The routine had a bit of everything: jazz, ballet, even a kickline. At one point, I pirouetted and she pushed me down; then I carried her across the stage. I remember thinking, 'Don’t drop the future Queen of England.' She loved it, but was most thrilled we’d kept it secret from Charles, and our rehearsals away from the paparazzi."
The 2017 documentary 'Princess Diana: The Woman Inside' revealed that not everyone was thrilled with Diana's showstopping stunt. Although it was meant as a Christmas "gift" for Prince Charles, the dance actually upset him more than anything. "She did it as a tribute to Charles. Charles wasn't terribly impressed. He thought she was showing off," royal expert Richard Kay said in the documentary.
'The Crown' Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.