Who were Diana’s flatmates she lived with before marrying Prince Charles?
They had a cleaning rota and listened to ABBA – so exactly like your uni house
In The Crown, Diana is shown living in a London flat with three of her mates, before Charles proposes to her and she moves into the Palace. Her flatmates aren’t not shown much in the series – only when Charles phones to ask her out, and then again when Diana tells them she’s engaged. Then they go on what looks like an absolutely banging night out to celebrate.
It turns out, Diana did actually live with these flatmates, and it’s been said she described this as “the happiest time of her life”. But who actually were the friends she lived with?
Where did Diana live with her flatmates?
When Diana was 18, her parents bought a three-bedroom apartment in Knightsbridge, a boujee part of London. According to The Sun, it cost them £50,000. Diana’s sister Sarah (you know, the one who was dating Prince Charles at the start of The Crown series four) was working as an estate agent at the time and was able to get the flat for her.
According to a biographer, Diana described this as “the happiest time of her life”, saying: “It was juvenile, innocent, uncomplicated and above all fun. ‘I laughed my head off there’, she said.”
Diana had a sign above her bedroom door saying “Chief Chick”. She charged her flatmates £18 a week (your uni landlord could never) and is said to have had a strict cleaning rota.
Diana and Charles met in 1977 (when she was …16), got together in 1980 and were engaged a year later, after which she moved out of the flat and went to live in Clarence House in February 1981, as shown on The Crown.
Who were Diana’s flatmates in London?
Carolyn Bartholomew, maiden name Pride, was a close school friend of Diana’s. They met at West Heath School when they were 12, shared a dormitory at school and are said to have been inseparable. When they were living together in London, Carolyn was studying singing and piano at the Royal College of Music, and was also an “accomplished sportswoman”.
Carolyn is Prince Harry’s godmother, and Diana was the godmother of Carolyn’s son Jack.
Along with two other schoolmates, Sophie Kimball and Philippa Coaker, the four moved into the London flat together. By the time Diana and Charles were seeing each other, like in The Crown, Sophie and Philippa had moved out, and Diana and Carolyn were living with two new friends, Anne Bolton and Virginia Pitman.
Anne Bolton was a couple of years older than Diana, and the two met on a skiing holiday. Anne invited Diana to ski with herself and her friends, and they then discovered Diana’s sister Sarah was Anne’s coworker. After this they became good friends.
Back in 1981, she told Tatler: “You’d be amazed how many times ABBA goes round the turntable in this flat.”
In a 1981 newspaper interview, Anne spoke about what it was like to live in the flat with paparazzi hounding Diana. She said: “We used to sit at night peering out from behind the curtains, wondering when the last car would leave. In the morning there might be another 30 down there, waiting for us to go to work.”
Virginia Pitman was also two years older than Diana. She was interested in cooking, training at the the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, and travel. Apparently she once “hitch-hiked across Europe to North Africa” from her home in Yorkshire.
The Crown season four is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.