Joan Collins Recalls Princess Diana Being 'Charming & Very Down-To-Earth': 'There Wasn't Anyone Else Like Her'
Even though Joan Collins was used to being around famous people, no one made her more starstruck than the late Princess Diana.
"Princess Diana was exquisite. We were both wearing Bruce Oldfield gowns that night. She was in silver lamé with big shoulder pads, and I was in white silk, also with big shoulder pads. 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," Collins told PEOPLE of their first meeting.
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"I met her five or six more times after that, and she was always exceedingly charming, very down-to-earth, very real, not at all stuffy. She asked about the paparazzi because there was an absolute barrage on 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,'" she continued.
The actress will always remember their final conversation, as they were both eating at the same restaurant.
"The last time I saw her, we were both having lunch at Harry's Bar in London," Collins shared. "I think she was dining with King Juan Carlos of Spain and somebody else. When she left, she passed by and winked and said, 'One of the most boring lunches I've ever had.'"
Unfortunately, Diana passed away in a car accident in 1997, but Collins is happy that she changed the monarchy for the better.
"I think she brought the royal family into the 21st century. She was extremely modern. She was the first person to hold the hands of AIDS patients and walk along the road where there had been landmines. There wasn't anyone else like her," she gushed.
"She would be 60 years old now. When I think of all the life that she could have lived, it's just very sad. I cried for days after hearing she had died. The only other person, other than my parents, whom I was so upset about was President Kennedy when he was assassinated," she added. "She was very natural and unaffected and real. 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. I can't think of anybody who has been as popular. Of course, the Queen is exceedingly popular. But Diana, she was a phenomenon."