Belfast Telegraph

Diana's Careless Whisper on George

Diana, Princess of Wales almost outed George Michael to a young Prince Harry years before the gay singer's sexuality came to light, according to the autobiography of a former royal aide.

In a comic moment Diana, speaking about the singer, told a guest during a 1992 reception "Isn't it a shame he doesn't like the ladies?" not aware that her son was close by, royal commentator Dickie Arbiter writes in his new book.

George was a guest at the event - a Kensington Palace drinks reception for Diana's charities - and when the eight-year-old Prince asked who they were talking about the Princess replied "Shut up, Harry".

The sexuality of the singer, who was one of Diana's close friends, was not publicly known until he was caught six years later propositioning an undercover police officer in a Los Angeles public toilet, an experience he later lampooned in the video for his hit song Outside.

During the same reception Diana used the occasion to give her son, the Duke of Cambridge then aged 10, the opportunity to give a public speech and he thanked the charities' staff on behalf of his mother.

Arbiter said in his book On Duty With The Queen, which is published this week by Blink Publishing: "The Princess was always well aware of William's destiny, and began teaching him the ways of kingship from a very early age. Part of that learning included the art of public speaking."

The royal commentator was a press secretary for the Queen for 12 years from 1998 and during that period worked for the Prince and Princess of Wales for five years.

Diana was a generous but "complicated" person Arbiter has suggested in his book, describing how she would freeze him out for weeks at a time if things did not go her way .

But for his 50th birthday in 1990 she staged a Kensington Palace party complete with party poppers and a birthday cake.

During a solo trip the Princess made to New York in 1989 Arbiter describes how he discovered more about her personality.

He said: "I had had a chance to get to know her, and in doing so began to understand the kind of person she was.

"In a word, she was complicated. If things were going her way, she was fine. If anything out of the ordinary occurred - anything that conflicted with what she wanted to do, and in her way - then you were frozen out and left to stew until she decided to invite you back into the fold.

"The freeze could last days or even weeks, and no-one was immune. I was subjected to one or two myself."

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