After two years of preparation, the Bavarian-born, UK-raised daughter of a South African father and an English mother was just starting the preview of the musical Diana at the Longacre Theater when her Broadway run was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic . (The show premiered in March 2019 at the La Jolla Playhouse in California.)

“So this show is about this former princess named Diana,” De Waal told Theater Mania at a cast event in February 2020, “and she met her prince charming, who was called Charles. But without knowing it.” For her he had a love on the side called Camilla. And the story is how that relationship worked in a very public spotlight and what happened. “

De Waal, who is 6 inches shorter than Diana’s 5-foot-10, read Andrew MortonThe 1992 biography of the Princess of Wales and hours of studying YouTube videos to get her voice and mannerisms, including her graduation demeanor, just right.

“If you’re trying to portray a painful moment at home or breastfeeding a baby, you don’t want people to say, ‘She looks like she’s in stripper heels,'” De Waal quipped the New Yorker in early 2020. From what she watched as she watched the princess in action in old video footage, the actress remarked, “She fights, she survives, but she does these things with completely relaxed shoulders and smiling for the cameras.”

When asked why Diana’s story is still worth telling, De Waal told Broadway Inbound, “I think people will want to see Diana because she is still such a big part of our zeitgeist and part of it.” And I think we want to celebrate it. “

Diana will be redirected for Broadway and Netflix in 2021.