During her lifetime, Princess Diana was constantly in the public eye . But behind the scenes, who were the close friends she opted to spend her time with? It turns out that the “people’s princess” had quite the diverse social circle ranging from other members of the royal family to psychotherapists to pals she met while on holiday … 10 royal rules to follow when dining with Queen Elizabeth Julia Samuel Besides celeb friends like Elton John and George Michael, one of Diana’s best friends was Julia Samuel. Born into the Anglo-Irish Guinness family, she married Michael Samuel, of the Hill Samuel banking dynasty. Her “It Girl” sister Sabrina Guinness even dated Prince Charles in 1979. Her brother is also artist and model Hugo Guinness, known for his illustrations in The New York Times . Inside Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s lucrative week in showbiz Samuel told You magazine in 2015 that she met Diana at a dinner in 1987, and that they instantly clicked. “We started laughing together. There was something about her and something about me that just worked,” she recalled. Samuel lived in Kensington near Diana, and the princess sometimes even picked up Samuel’s children from school, according to Hello magazine. The friends would often go to the gym, have lunch or visit the cinema together, and they could also be spotted in the royal box at Wimbledon or backstage at an Elton John concert. Monarch, mechanic, machine-gunner: 8 times Queen Elizabeth was hardcore Samuel has stayed close to Prince William and Prince Harry since their mother’s death in 1997. She is godmother to Prince William’s eldest son, Prince George , who is third in line to the British throne. Samuel is a well-known psychotherapist, and has written several books on the subject, including This Too Shall Pass and Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving . When news broke earlier this year that Meghan Markle felt unsupported by the palace when she was struggling with mental health issues , the likes of Town and Country Magazine reported that she had turned to one of Diana’s best friends for help – possibly Samuel. How the British royals celebrate their birthdays Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York Another close friend of Diana was Sarah Ferguson , who went on to marry Prince Charles’ younger brother Andrew in 1986, becoming the Duchess of York. But before they were ever sisters-in-law, the pair were fourth cousins through ancestor Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire , who was born a Spencer, and their mothers were also best friends. They had many mutual pals, but became closer when Diana married Prince Charles. Is Danish Queen Margrethe’s jewellery box better than Queen Elizabeth’s? The pair would have weekly lunches together, reported Town and Country Magazine, and Sarah was invited to Diana’s wedding but not the post event reception, which reportedly caused some friction in their friendship. Nevertheless, when Diana suggested that mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth invite Sarah to Windsor Castle’s annual “dine and sleep” event during Ascot week, Sarah was seated next to Prince Andrew – and the rest is history. What many may have overlooked is the fact that the duchess was the first royal to have a hen party before her wedding. According to Town and Country Magazine , “Fergie”, Diana and a group of friends dressed as police officers and got into trouble with the authorities for causing a scene outside Buckingham Palace before heading to the clubs. Later that night they reportedly locked Prince Andrew out of Buckingham Palace after his own stag party. Sarah and Diana supported each other during their princess years. Both were divorced in 1992, and the friends holidayed together that year with their children (Fergie is the mother of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie ). 6 British royals who write: which of these titled authors have you read? Sadly, the pair were not on speaking terms at the time of Diana’s death due to comments Fergie made about Diana in her 1996 autobiography. Her three flatmates – Carolyn Pride, Anne Bolton and Virginia Pitman Fans of The Crown will note that Diana had three flatmates in her Chelsea home when she became engaged to Prince Charles: Carolyn Pride, Anne Bolton and Virginia Pitman. Diana attended each of their weddings, and Pride (now Bartholomew), whom she met when they both attended West Heath School in Kent, is one of Prince Harry’s godmothers, and attended his 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle. Kate Middleton’s US$1 million tiara … and 4 more expensive jewellery pieces Meanwhile, Bolton reportedly struck up a friendship with the princess while they were on a ski trip. By coincidence, the pair discovered that Bolton worked with Diana’s elder sister Sarah. Bolton mentioned in an interview in 1981 that she remained close friends with the princess, who would often pop into her office for a chat. By 2000, she owned a cattle ranch in Queensland, which is where Prince Harry worked during his gap year in Australia, according to the BBC. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .