Princess Diana’s dance partner recalls charming childhood memories of Prince William and Prince Harry

Professional dancer Wayne Sleep developed a close bond with the Princess over their love of dance

Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) with dancer Wayne Sleep after a performance of 'Song and Dance' at the Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol, England, April 1988.
(Image credit: Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Diana’s closest friend and former dance partner, Wayne Sleep, is giving us more details on Prince Harry and Prince William’s childhood. During an interview with Hello!, he opened up about his special bond with the Princess. 

Many have become nostalgic after the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue, including the Princess of Wales’ former dance partner. Initially, the two met in December of 1985, when she contacted Wayne to perform a dance to Billy Joel’s Uptown Girls as a surprise present for Prince Charles’ birthday (which was also portrayed in season four of The Crown). From there, their bond grew and the two remained in touch for the years to come.

Diana, Princes Of Wales, Meeting Ballet Dancer Wayne Sleep At Sadler's Wells Theatre

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

"She used to come to my house and I'd cook trout in almonds, I'd also have a lovely cake at the end. Little chocolates for the boys or something silly," he said in an exclusive interview with Hello!

The dancer played a role when Prince William and Prince Harry were younger, even sending gifts to the palace for their birthdays. 

“Every birthday I used to send up to the Palace a silly present for the boys–when they were like four or something. She would always phone me during the evenings. I would say, 'How's it going?' But a lot of it is a bit private," he told the magazine.

He also couldn’t help but feel sorrow for Prince William and Prince Harry, who recently showed unity to honor their late mother

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, attends Carnival of the Birds for the RSPB Charity, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, Britain. Diana is introduced to the cast by dancer Wayne Sleep, who is dressed in the red leotard stage costume Picture taken 3rd November 1991.

(Image credit: Ken Lennnox/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

“All I care about really are her sons at this time, because it would have been lovely to have their mother live a long life like my own mother who was 72 [when she passed away]. When my mother died, she sent me a letter saying she was sorry." he revealed, adding that she even invited his parents to the Palace every year for the annual Christmas party with the staff. "They loved it. Sometimes I went with them."

He couldn’t help but point out her natural “charisma” which paired with their shared sense of humor, created an ever-lasting friendship Wayne still reflects on today.

“She had that thing called charisma. She was charismatic and even when she spoke with that very quiet voice, it was something that pulled you in and you just wanted to embrace her all the time.”

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.