Today, 1997, Princess Diana was killed by the press. RIP Princess Diana.
Michael Jackson and Diana met just one time, backstage before his ‘Bad’ Wembley, London concert on July 16, 1988. Michael told reporters that he was “very excited” to meet with Diana and “I’m very, very happy that they came to watch me perform.” Michael presented Diana with two Bad tour jackets, Bad memorabilia for her children William 6, and Harry 3, and asked why they weren’t at the concert. Michael also presented cheques to the Prince’s Trust £450,000 and to the Great Ormond Street Hospital £100,000.
Diana was reported to have said that “Michael’s my favorite pop star, but I’m not so sure about my husband.” Inside the stadium, the crowd cheered and whistled as the royal couple appeared. Jackson began the performance by saying. “I’d like to welcome our royal guests,” then shouted, “How’re ya doin’” as he looked over to their box. Diana was seen to clap, sway and dance along during the concert.
Paul Burrell, Diana’s butler, released a book in 2006 in which he tells of Diana and Michael. ‘One star who fascinated the princess was Michael Jackson, as much for his upbringing and personality struggles as his talent. She endlessly played Thriller and Bad, thought he was “absolutely amazing” and longed to meet him. The opportunity arose in 1988 when he came to Wembley on his Bad tour, and she invited Maria, with another dresser, to watch the concert with her and meet him backstage. She returned to KP with a selection of tour memorabilia for William and Harry: Bad baseball caps, jackets, T-shirts, pens. You name it, she’d been given it’. In several interviews Michael would confirm that he and Diana would spend hours on the phone discussing everything from family to being defiant to the Press that hounded them both.
On 31st August 1997 on learning that Diana had been tragically killed, Michael was too upset to perform and cancelled his scheduled show in Ostend, Belgium. His rescheduled show later paid special tribute to Diana. “Michael Jackson will dedicate the concert to Diana, Princess of Wales,” promoters Make It Happen said. “It will be a tribute to Diana.” Minutes before the concert began in front of more than 60,000 people at Ostend racecourse, two 21-foot-high pictures of the princess wearing a tiara lit up on either side of the giant stage. The crowd applauded, held lighters above their heads and swayed to a recording of the pop star’s “Smile.”