Princess Diana played Rachmaninov – who knew?

Princess Diana played Rachmaninov – who knew?


norman lebrecht

January 06, 2021

Zsolt Bognar has alerted us to an obscure video showing Princess Diana playing a part of Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto while on a tour of Australia with Prince Charles in 1988.

The film was part of an ITN news report. Before she leaves, Diana is given a kiss on the cheek by Professor Henri Touzeau, 79, of  the Victorian College of the Arts school of music.

Watch and wonder.

The video has received just four thousand views over the past eight years.



  • A.L. says:

    So sweet. She is so missed. She was an object lesson on, and the genuine article of, British-bred class.

  • Rogerio says:

    On a related topic:
    There is a video on YouTube of Mike Tyson singing and playing the piano.
    It is taken from the cinema classic “The Hangover”.
    You gotta love Mike Tyson – “the people’s prince”.

  • John Borstlap says:


  • Nijinsky says:

    As her love, light spreads by itself having a pace at wehich time has ceased to prevent it from doing just that, however this isn’t something that’s been prevented from being there.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Norman. It is an historic moment and one that exhibits that even a Princess can indeed embrace the world’s most beautiful music.

  • mary says:

    How is this not a filmed assault in every sense of the word?

    This video exemplifies the public hounding of Diana, as demonstrated by the very narration itself: “Then everyone decided it was the Princess’s turn, except perhaps the Princess…”

    She didn’t want to play, it was against her will, the old man insisted nonetheless, and at the end of it all, “the princess looked for an escape”, but the lech draped his arm over her shoulders, and with that unwelcomed kiss on the cheek, and “awws” of the crowd, the professor publicly and openly sexually assaulted her.

    “And the blushing princess almost ran for cover, clearly embarrassed”

    And thus marked Diana’s life.

  • Allen says:

    Her lessons clearly hadn’t made much of an impression. She showed little or no interest in the genre.

    • V. Lind says:

      She was thought to like opera, particularly Verdi. And I have seen this clip several times since the trip to Australia — I suspect your supplier’s video is not the only one and that various ones have had many more views than just the one. I just checked You Tube and the top one has had over a million views.

    • microview says:

      I am sure any amateur can play Rach. 2

    • Jack says:

      Oh, I didn’t know. Thanks for sharing!

  • Penny says:

    Disingenuous comment by Mr. Labrecht

  • EA says:

    There is another YouTube video of this recording with 1 Million views:

  • BruceB says:

    That was adorable.

  • karll says:

    anytime i hear about her, i always think of karl lagerfeld’s comment on dead diana as being very attractive but not having much in the brains department.

  • Alternative Sources says:

    Using another link, we find one with over 1.1m views :

  • marj says:

    She was very embarrassed. What a jerk he was.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Thanks to Lokman for mentioning Prine Charles’s cello playing. It’s like hearing of Prince Albert’s piano playing when Mendelssohn visited Queen Victoria.

  • Gustavo says:

    I find this rather sad.

    You can sense the hardly bearable male-chauvinist dominance she was continually exposed to – including that shameless commentator.

    A shy deer was forced to display something very intimate and personal.

    Disgusting how that old guy uses the opportunity to give her a kiss – quite understandable she ran off immediately.

  • JussiB says:

    Poor Diana should have sought solace in great music instead of in the arms of other men.