Diana, Princess of Wales, sits and chats to members of a Zenica volleyball team who have suffered injuries from mines, during her visit Saturday, August 9, 1997. The team members play by sitting on the floor and moving about the court on their arms. Diana is on the second day of a visit to Bosnia Herzegovina, aimed at publicizing her campaign to ban land mines. (AP Photo/Ian Waldie/pool)

Liza Minnelli used to love talking about "everything under the sun" with Princess Diana.

The 66-year-old entertainer formed a strong friendship with the late royal – who died in August 1997 aged 36 – and the pair used to enjoy meeting with each other for lunch so that they could relax and be themselves instead of having people constantly "bowing and scraping" in front of them.

Liza – who has been married four times – explained: "I was lucky enough count Princess Di as a friend. I was first introduced to her when she came backstage after a concert I did in London. Then we'd bump into each other at premieres or events where she'd be the guest of honour.

"We'd fall into conversation then we'd meet for tea. Later on, she'd come to my hotel and we'd have lunch, just the two of us. I think she liked that. I certainly did. My instinct was to protect her. We talked about everything under the sun. She loved music.

"All my life, I've had people bowing and scraping. I haven't encouraged it. That's just how it's been. Well, Princess Di got pretty used to people bowing and scraping. So it was a relief to both of us that we could just be ourselves around each other.

"I haven't yet met the Duchess of Cambridge, but I want to. She seems such a natural, unaffected young woman."

Despite people seeing Liza as showbiz royalty, the singer-and-actress – who split from David Gest in 2007 – has never regarded herself as "anything special".

She added to You magazine: "I've never thought I was anything special. I'm a gypsy. I go where the work is – like any jobbing performer."