'Don’t Drop the Future Queen of England': The Real Story of <i>The Crown</i>'s 'Uptown Girl' Moment

Princess Diana’s renegade performance of "Uptown Girl" for a shocked opera audience (and a very dismayed and mortified Prince Charles) was a killer plot point in the ninth episode of The Crown’s fourth season. But while it makes for intoxicating television, how did the 1985 event play out in reality?

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t in the ninth episode of The Crown's fourth season. But while it makes for intoxicating television, how did the 1985 event play out in reality?

As it happens, Diana's pas de deux with professional dancer Wayne Sleep at the Royal Opera House was very much taken from real life, and it provoked same shocked reactions from the crowd and, in particular, Charles. Read on for details on the true story.

Who was Diana's partner?

Long a dancer, Diana approached Wayne Sleep, a member of the Royal Ballet, years earlier to see if he could offer her lessons. His schedule didn't allow him to say yes at the time, but after, she hatched the idea to dance during an annual performance for the Friends of Covent Garden held at the Royal Opera House.

When Sleep entered the Royal Ballet School, he was, at 5'2 , the shortest male dancer in its history. His untraditional form allowed him to play unorthodox parts, and many top choreographers create roles for him. After leaving the Royal Ballet, Sleep moved over to musical theater, where he originated the role of Mister Mistoffelees in Cats on the West End. In 1973, he set a world record for doing the fastest entrechat douze, a jump that requires twelve beats of the feet.

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Read original at ELLE | Fashion Magazine

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