Jamie Lee Curtis recently opened up about a life-changing exchange with Princess Diana and the unconventional predicament that left her feeling disappointed.
When nature calls
Curtis recalled a day on set filming Fierce Creatures, the 1997 sequel to A Fish Called Wanda, in London in 1995. “We had been told that day that Princess Diana and her children were going to come visit,” Curtis shared on the Apple Fitness+ audio show Time to Walk. “And I admired her so much. We shot all morning, and when we took a tea break, for me, it was a pee break, I jumped in a golf cart and drove the two miles back to my dressing room. I’m in my dressing room peeing when there was a pounding on the door, ‘Princess Diana is here!'”
The actress rushed back to set, but by the time she had made the two-mile trek, the Princess was leaving the studio. Deciding not to run after her, Curtis instead wrote a letter to Diana and had it delivered to Kensington Palace. The letter read:
“I’m so sorry we didn’t get to meet. I was very much looking forward to it as I admire you greatly. Unfortunately, nature called, and they don’t give me many breaks, so I chose nature over you, not knowing that you were going to arrive right at that moment. I’m so sorry and just think you’re great. My best wishes, Jamie.”
The next day, a letter arrived for Jamie from none other than Her Royal Highness Princess Diana. The reply read: “I’m so sorry I didn’t get to meet you, also. I admire you, and I totally understand when nature calls. Of course, you should choose that. I hope that we will have an opportunity in our lives to meet. Best wishes always.”
“It was just a beautiful letter,” Curtis said. “Which I still have.”
‘Did I love well?’ Curtis’ reaction to Diana’s death
Two years after their exchange of letters, on August 31, 1997, Curtis learned that the princess had died in a horrific car crash in Paris. That night, Curtis opened a book she kept on her nightstand called The Path to Insight Meditation by Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. She read the preface while thinking of Princess Diana: “When people have tried to live mindfully, at the time of their death, they ask themselves two questions: Did I learn to live wisely? And did I love well?”
“And I realized that, if this book was correct, that meant whether or not it was cut terribly short, her life was complete,” Curtis said, reflecting on Diana’s caring heart and involvement in a myriad of charities and causes including AIDS awareness, poverty, and landmines in wartorn areas.
Diana was killed when the car she and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were in crashed in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris as it tried to escape pursuing photographers. Fayed and the driver Henri Paul died in the crash, and Diana succumbed to her injuries in the hospital several hours later. Her death shed a light on the out-of-control press that profited from her suffering.
“And on that tragic day, those questions became the questions of my daily life. I don’t go to bed at night without asking those questions,” Curtis continued. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. That has become the framework of my life.”