Princess of Wales met the former Princess of Punk
for lunch she revealed a new side to her
character. Toyah Willcox tells Sharon Feinstein
of that meeting and talks of her own new-found
happiness. Photography by Steve Lyne.
Confiding over lunch, the Princess of Wales
admitted to the former Princess of Punk, Toyah
Willcox, that one of her secret desires was to go
out in public in a tight leather miniskirt.
Toyah was all for the idea, but Di couldn't have
been convinced because the world is still
breathlessly waiting to see her in a Tina Turner,
thigh-length little number.
their few hours together Toyah realised that Di
could also talk about more momentous subjects,
like motherhood and the meaning of life.
no way that Di is 'thick', and she's certainly
not coy," said Toyah firmly. "She's
surprisingly aggressive, in a royal sense, in
that she knows who she is, what she's going to be
and what she's going to do.
was amazed she's such a phenomenal human being,
so strong, intelligent and charismatic.
don't think she's a spiritual person, but I
believe she will be through her children. And
perhaps Charles will enlighten her the way my
husband has enlightened me.
very showbiz, a film-star princess, but if you
look at her contemporaries, like Princess
Stephanie or Caroline, she stands head and
shoulders above them. I look at Princess
Stephanie and shudder."
who was chosen to give the speech at the Woman Of
The Year Lunch, was so nervous her teeth were
chattering, but the Princess of Wales, kept
reassuring her and calmed her down.
29, went on: "I knew Di was as nervous as I
was at being there and in a way I wanted to be
able to support her, and she really supported me
was wonderful before I gave the speech, saying
things like, 'I'm so glad I don't have to do it
but I know you'll be brilliant,' and 'Get on with
it and have a jolly good time.'
showed her the speech beforehand and told her I
deliberately wanted to hone in on everyone's
maternal instincts, which she found very
talked about the fact that I don't want children,
but feel enormously maternal towards the human
race, and she said I'd given her lots to think
understood what I was saying, and explained her
own incredible love and need to bring up her to
children. She's had her battles, too, believe me.
an extremely brave lady and I thin her Aids visit
was a reassuring move, where she shook hands with
a victim publicly, for a scared audience of
relatively ignorant people.
did it as an example to a class of people who
perhaps go to the pub each night and say, 'I want
to go out and kill these gays, they'll be the end
of us.' They're an aggressive, unthinking class
who see the Royal Family as being up there on a
represents the enlightenment of people like that
and I'm sure her Aids visit would have a positive
effect on them.
the end of the lunch Di said it would be nice if
we met again, but I don't think I could be a
close friend of hers.
kind of friendship she needs from a woman is
someone who can go out with her and let off
steam, and I don't like going to nightclubs and
parties so I can't offer her that.
I'd always give support to any good human being,
and I feel that very strongly towards her."
used to be known as the brash, impetuous queen of
rock 'n' roll, who would drink any man under the
table, belt out her bold views wherever she was,
and wear her clothes and hair in the most
shocking way she could of.
three years ago she took a long hard look at
herself and decided to completely transform her
life, by walking out on her bodyguard boyfriend
and getting on a plane to America, cutting
herself off from all her friends and either
selling or throwing away everything she owned in
serene, gently self-confident woman has taken the
old Toyah's place, with sparkling eyes, her
blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail, and a
strong sense of other people as well as herself.
a soft, measured voice she revealed: "I was
immensely unhappy, living the domestic life at
home, and trapped in my own image of a zany, punk
woman within work.
was rotting in my house, never going out of the
front door to walk the sreets or do the shopping.
Admittedly, the ex-boyfriend did all that, but it
was his choice as much as mine.
got pestered so much I couldn't face the streets,
whereas now when I get pestered I just tell
people to leave me alone. I didn't have it in me
to do that then.
was trapped, and to alleviate my boredom I was
drinking all day and watching TV, just not doing
anything that was real. I had no vision of a
real, full life.
wanted to divorce myself from everything because
I could no longer bear the sinking feeling, and
if I hadn't done what I did I probably wouldn't
be alive today.
was on the verge of losing myself, so I abandoned
everyone I knew, and everything that went to make
up my miserable life.
I feel I've got a future and that I'm a person,
whereas before I didn't know who I was."
ex-boyfriend, Tom Taylor, decided to sell the
intimate, sordid story of their life together to
a daily newspaper, and nothing Toyah said could
said to him, 'When you sell that story you're not
only selling my soul, you're selling your own'.
told the world he was my slave, that I drank
myself silly, and walked out without a word, and
there's an element of truth in all that. But I'd
rephrase it to say that we were slaves, we drank
ourselves silly, and we walked out without a
still feel a lot of pain at having hurt him and
his family, but the reason I did it was our
stagnation. Now he's got an identity instead of
living in my shadow, and I've heard he's making a
very good living.
were a very possessive couple and now we've both
got freedom. We couldn't have grown in any
Toyah arrived in America she met Robert Fripp,
guitarist in the psychedelic, massively
successful group King Crimson.
knew straight away that Robert was the soul mate
she'd been searching for, and they have been very
happily married for the last year.
said. "The moment we met there was an
overwhelming recognition. I have an honesty with
Robert that I have with no one else other than my
I'm really pissed off I can talk to him about it
without there being any grudges. We can sit down
and map out any problem like a psychoanalyst
would, and really find the root of the trouble
before it becomes blown up.
so much the same person. Our habits are the same,
our timing's the same, and everything about is is
unified. I know we're very lucky because lots of
people spend their whole lives searching for a
starring role as Sally Bowles in the musical Cabaret
in London's West End was recently brought to an
abrupt end by a musician's strike. "I was
devastated," she says. "I'd looked
forward to the run for so long, and suddenly my
days were empty."
she spends her weeks alone in a studio flat in
Chelsea, and at weekends she joins Robert Fripp
at their big, rambling country house in Dorset,
where they tend to the vegetables and read books.
spiritually and sub-consciously we're committed,
which means we can be apart from each other a
lot. I was burning to grow in a spiritual
direction but didn't know how, and Robert was the
fire. I think that's why we zapped together so
quickly. I don't feel different being married,
although I respect the marriage ceremony and
tradition. But I really take this relationship
very seriously and certainly don't believe in
would feel great failure if we ever parted. I'd
very much like this to be for the rest of our
I passionately don't want children. It's very
much something in me and my sister as well. It's
not a dislike of children, just that we have no
maternal instincts are in my work and my feelings
towards the human race. Robert doesn't want
children either and, of course, that makes it all
very much easier."
released a new album, Desire, last week
and is forming a band with her husband called
Uncertain Times, hopefully for a tour of the
album has come out of turmoil and I think it'll
take five years for me to really establish myself
again as a singer. It's part of a rebuilding
looking forward to working with Robert because
although we're very close on a love level, it'll
be totally different to establish a relationship
on a working level."
admitted that when she comes back to her empty
flat and opens a tin of tuna and a packet of
frozen peas, she feels terribly lonely.
takes the phone off the hook, and plunges herself
into writing a detailed diary which will one day
form the basis of a book she says she's burning
to write for the next generation of hopeful young
female rock stars.
get lonely being apart from Robert during the
week, especially late at night and in bed.
my diary helps a lot and I take it very
seriously, because I'm hoping to write this book
eventually called Women In Industry.
a woman who loves working with men but I'm a
feminist, and I want to write a book about how a
woman like me gets attacked by chauvinism and
not intellectual, but I'm bolshy and fight for
everything I want, and I also project a sexual
image, so the hard-core feminists don't like me.
I'm not against women at all. In fact, some of my
best lessons in life have come from women.
like to write this book for the next generation
who want to know about going into the theatre and
the rock world, a lot of which is based on sexual
you come into the music industry purely as a
feminist you are denying yourself the sexual
power you need to really get somewhere."
Express Magazine, June 1987