Mariah Carey Once Locked Eyes With Princess Diana, And She’s Shared The Sad Truth About What She Saw

They are two of the most iconic figures of the 1990s, and for very different reasons. But did you know that the Queen of Christmas Mariah Carey and the late Princess Diana once found themselves in the same room? And as Mariah recalled in her 2020 memoir, their brief eye-to-eye encounter had a profound effect on the chart-topping diva.

Mariah’s connection to the woman once described as the world’s most photographed individual actually goes further back. In 1993 the “Anytime You Need a Friend” singer walked down the aisle with the man who helped to guide her career, Tommy Mottola. And the ceremony was inspired heavily by the wedding of the 1980s.

In 2011 E! News claimed, “The singer reportedly studied Prince Charles and Princess Di’s big day to replicate the regal affair. And just like the late princess, Mariah needed several ladies in waiting to help her make it down the aisle.” So how exactly did Mimi pay homage to the hugely popular royal?

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Well, in 2002 The Observer noted, “The bride wore a tiara modeled on the one Princess Diana wore for her wedding and a 27ft train.” And in her autobiography, Mariah herself admits that her dress, designed by Vera Wang, was a nod to the late royal’s. The diva would later pay tribute to the Princess of Wales in song, too.

Sadly, it was amid the most tragic of circumstances. In December 1997 a concert rendition of Mariah’s epic power ballad “Hero” appeared on Diana, Princess of Wales: Tribute. The compilation album was put together after the royal’s shocking death in a Parisian car crash a few months earlier.

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According to the Daily Express, Mariah had always been impressed by how Diana conducted herself. The “We Belong Together” singer reportedly once said, “All the things she seemed to go through, all her personal turmoil and all the things going on in her life. She managed to maintain an image of strength and just something a symbol of hope for so many people.”

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Mariah would offer several more thoughts about the princess in the memoir she announced in late 2019. The diva told Variety that she found the experience of writing her life story “cathartic” and that it would candidly address both professional and personal experiences including her supposed breakdown. And fans weren’t left disappointed when the book hit the shelves in July 2020.

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Yes, penned with the help of Michaela Angela Davis, The Meaning of Mariah Carey was packed with intriguing revelations. The diva reflected on her difficult upbringing in New York in great detail, including her experiences of abuse and racism. She also opened up about the marriage that began like a royal fairy-tale but ended in disaster.

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Mariah claimed that first husband Tommy Mottola was a possessive man who not only managed her career but her day-to-day life, too. She compared the $32 million house they shared in New York to a correctional facility due to how trapped she felt. And Mimi also recalled how the music exec once ordered armed employees to look for her when she decided to go on a spontaneous trip to a fast food joint.

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Rapper Da Brat, who was with her at the time, said to Mariah, “This ain’t right. You sold millions of records, girl. You live in a damn palace. You have everything, but if you can’t be free to go to Burger King when you want, you ain’t got nothing. You need to get out of there.” And the singer appeared to listen to her pal, as a year later she and Mottola went their separate ways.

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Mariah also argued that following their split, Mottola tried to ruin her career. She claimed that the music executive deliberately removed promo materials for her Glitter soundtrack from shops. The singer also alleged that her ex-husband lifted an idea for a track she’d recorded and gave it to another singer before she could release her track. Mariah’s apparent nemesis Jennifer Lopez is said to be the star who benefited from Mottola’s reported actions.

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That infamous gate-crashing appearance on MTV show Total Request Live was also addressed in the book. And Mariah insisted that the stunt was entirely planned. She wrote, “Let’s be clear and logical, there’s no way I, Mariah Carey, or anyone could actually crash any MTV show, with an ice-cream cart no less. Maybe Carson Daly didn’t know I was coming, but producers had to schedule my appearance – coordinators, publicists, security, whole-a** teams of people knew I was coming.”

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The breakdown Mariah reportedly suffered soon after the MTV incident was also touched upon. All the drama began when her mom phoned the cops after being shouted at in “an angry, hysterical frenzy.” The singer’s brother Morgan later drove the singer to a rehab facility she initially believed was a spa.

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“I knew Morgan and my mother had been communicating, and I strongly believe they orchestrated the whole thing,” Mariah recalled. So why would the pair resort to such measures? Well, the star recalled a counseling session in which she realized, “If they could prove I was unstable, they certainly could have believed they would become the executors of my affairs.”

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Mariah’s shrink recommended that the singer doesn’t see Morgan anymore, a suggestion that she has been happy to follow. The singer wrote in her memoir, “I have no doubt it is emotionally and physically safer for me not to have any contact with my ex-brother.” She still remains in touch with her mother, though, adding, “I have reserved some room in my heart and life to hold her – but with boundaries.”

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Mariah also confirmed in her book that the reports were true – an affair between her and Major League Baseball icon Derek Jeter did occur. Yet she doesn’t refer to one-time fiancé James Packer at all. In an interview with The Guardian, the singer explained, “If it was a relationship that mattered, it’s in the book. If not, it didn’t occur.”

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So did Mariah have any reservations about detailing her various relationships? Well, when asked on The Oprah Conversation, the singer replied, “Yes, but it’s not because I was worried about what they would think. It’s because I never would have spoken a word about anybody in my life – and I try to be very fair – but people have drawn first blood with me, historically.”

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“When there are people connected to you as a person that achieves a certain level of success, you are a target,” Mariah continued. “You’re vulnerable. But I wouldn’t have gone here if things hadn’t been done to me, if I hadn’t been dragged by certain people and treated as an ATM machine with a wig on.”

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Of course, for fans of the royal family, the most intriguing part of Mariah’s book related to her encounter with Princess Diana. But how did the two stars from very different worlds end up in the same room together in the first place? Well, one of the most famous glossy publications out there was responsible.

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Yes, Vogue magazine had managed to attract both Mariah and Diana to a star-studded bash in 1995. The princess enjoyed a good relationship with the style bible. The royal was regularly dressed by its fashion editor Anna Harvey from Diana’s engagement to Prince Charles right up to her untimely passing.

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In a 2016 interview with the magazine, editor Anna Cryer recalled how her boss in the early 1990s, Liz Tilberis, and Diana became firm friends. She said, “They would lunch together and the princess, tremendously polite, was always quick to write a thank-you letter afterwards. Her phone calls to the office began with the same cheery announcement: ‘Hello! The Princess of Wales here.’”

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And Diana had a keen interest in the publication, too. “As I sat outside Liz’s office, she would perch on my desk and ask about what was going on in the magazine,” Cryer added. “She was interested not just in fashion, but in other people’s lives. She was delightful.”

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Diana’s fascination with Vogue may well have stemmed from the fact that both of her sisters were once employed by the magazine. She would also go on to grace the front cover of the world famous publication on no less than three occasions. Sadly, the final occasion was as part of a tribute commemorating her death two months previously.

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Of course, as one of the most glamorous divas in pop, Mariah regularly attracted Vogue’s attention, too. She graced its pages in 1994, a year before meeting Diana at one of its bashes. The star proudly showed off a throwback pic from the shoot with photographer Steven Meisel on her Instagram account in 2018.

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Mariah was also chosen to appear on the front cover of the magazine’s Spanish edition at the turn of the century. And her style choices have regularly been pored over by various writers for the long-running publication. Mariah and Diana’s invitations to Vogue’s 1995 party would therefore have been no-brainers.

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It was here that Mariah finally got to lock eyes with one of her heroes. As you’d expect, the “Without You” singer relived the experience in her 2020 memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. She began by referencing how similarly the pair had been treated by the world’s media. “I studied how the press hounded her like hyenas,” Mimi recalled while discussing own her ordeals with the paparazzi.

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Mariah quickly moved on to the “brief but unforgettable moment” she shared with the royal at the Vogue party. The vocalist noted that Diana was wearing a “stunning sapphire-colored gown” at the time and her neck was “dripping in the same blue gems.” Yet it was the princess’ eyes that left the longest lasting impression.

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“The dull terror of never being left alone burning behind her eyes.” That’s the poetic and touching way that Mariah described what she saw when she glanced toward the princess at the glitzy bash. And it’s a look that Mariah can clearly relate to.

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“We were both like cornered animals in couture,” Mariah continued. “I completely recognized and identified with her. We shared that understanding of how it felt always being surrounded by people, all of whom might not be trying to hurt you, but all of whom are trying to do something.”

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The episode concludes on an even more somber note, with Mariah writing, “I didn’t know she would be caught and killed shortly after our encounter.” As many of you no doubt remember, in 1997 Diana was involved in a fatal car crash in Paris that also took the lives of her driver Henri Paul and her then-partner Dodi Fayed. The princess was being chased by the paparazzi at the time.

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But Mariah didn’t end her thoughts on Diana there. She went on to wonder about how the princess would deal with another very modern form of attention: social media. And the chart-topping diva concluded that the royal would’ve taken great comfort in having an army of stans.

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That’s right, it turns out that Mariah is quite the fan of Twitter, Instagram et al. She wrote, “[On social media] our fans can come to our defense, bring all the receipts and create a united front so strong that no bland host or commentator or ravenous paparazzi can even begin to compete with their influence.” We’d sure like to know which bland hosts the diva is referring to.

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Continuing to extol the virtues of such platforms, Mariah then made a surprisingly bold remark about the late royal. She added, “We are the media. I only wish Princess Di had lived long enough to have Instagram or Twitter. I wish she had lived to see the people become the press.”

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And for those who don’t believe that Diana would’ve succumbed to the lure of social media, well, check out the whole host of official royal accounts out there. Her ex-husband Prince Charles shares an Instagram account with his second wife Camilla Parker Bowles. Plus her two sons William and Harry also have millions following them and their respective partners Kate and Meghan on the same platform.

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There’s even an Instagram influencer in the family. That’s right, Lady Kitty Spencer, Diana’s niece, has amassed more than half a million followers on the photo-sharing platform thanks to her classy sense of style. And the royal family has its own general account that largely centers on the adventures of Prince Philip and the Queen.

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You might not know that Mariah’s Diana anecdote isn’t the first time she’s discussed a member of the royal family. According to London Net, the star revealed in 2008 that she was a big fan of a certain Prince Charles. She said, “He is suave, educated and is a great role model.”

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Diana isn’t the only royal whom Mariah has rubbed shoulders with over the years, either. In the 2000s Prince Azim of Brunei attempted to buy the affections of the “Fantasy” singer with a necklace worth more than $5 million that he sent out on a private jet. Sadly, this grand gesture didn’t quite have the desired effect.

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Mariah also revealed in her memoir that she’s been lucky enough to meet several other historical figures during her career. Reflecting on her encounter with Nelson Mandela, she wrote, “I was with him for just a moment, but what a moment. I felt the energy of ancient ancestry and the future; of struggles and sacrifice; of unshakable faith and vision. Mr Mandela smiled at me: in that instant I felt my constitution change.”

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And in 2010 Mariah made sure Michelle Obama would never forget their meeting by letting slip a major revelation. After singing “One Child” at the Christmas in Washington event, the singer told the First Lady that she was expecting two. She wrote, “I seized the moment and whispered in her ear that I had twins.”

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Mariah’s candor, and generous amount of name-dropping, was warmly received by the press. Her memoir was described by The Guardian as “a carefully pieced together self-portrait of one of this generation’s most fascinatingly idiosyncratic, frequently misunderstood artists from the ground up.” And Rolling Stone hailed it as an “instant classic of pop diva lit.”

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