Many stars have portrayed Princess Diana in films in the past but hardly did anyone give as great a portrayal as Catherine Oxenberg who is best known for portraying the role in the 1982 American made-for-TV biographical drama film, The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana. The film which tells the story of Lady Diana Spencer’s marriage to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
In addition to this role, she stands out as one of the iconic screen stars who played a role in the critically-acclaimed soap opera, Dynasty, which aired from 1984 to 1986. The actress was cast as Amanda Carrington in 53 episodes of the series.
When Princess Diana was still alive, Catherine came in contact with both the Princess and Prince Charles, before she later portrayed the former in a movie. As a result of this, it has often been assumed by some that the two women are related.
Relationship Between Catherine Oxenberg and Princess Diana
Catherine Oxenberg is related to a lot of people in the celebrity world, as well as in the royal circles. The actress has a sister called Christina Oxenberg, a successful fashion designer, humorist, and writer.
More so, she is a cousin to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Felipe VI of Spain. They are also great-great-great-grandchildren of revolutionist Karageorge (Đorđe Petrović), who spearheaded the struggle for his country to be freed from the Ottoman Empire during the infamous First Serbian Uprising that lasted from 1804 to 1831. Catherine is also related to Đorđe Petrović through her maternal grandfather, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia.
However, she is not related to Princess Diana who was herself not a member of any royal family until after her marriage to Prince Charles. Nevertheless, the family of Diana Frances Spencer, the princess, was always close to the British royal family for many generations.
Interesting Facts About Catherine Oxenberg
1. Royal heritage
Catherine was born to Howard Oxenberg and Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia on 22nd September 1961, in New York City, in the United States. It was, however, in London that she was brought up with her family.
Her mother is the maternal second cousin of Queen Sofia of Spain, as well as Prince Charles who, of course, was first married to Princess Diana. She is likewise related to Prince Edward, Duke of Kent as his maternal first cousin.
Her mother was born in 1936 as the only daughter of Princess Olga of Denmark and Greece and her husband, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia. Her dad is a dress manufacturer from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, as well as a close friend of the Kennedy family. Howard, who was Elizabeth’s first husband, died in 2010.
2. Catherine is a woman of many ethnic extractions
As regards her ethnicity, she is Jewish on her father’s side and has European Royal, Russian, Swedish, Serbian, and Finnish ancestry on her mother’s side. Records have it that her parents named her after one of her descendants, Catherine the Great (Empress Catherine II, Tsarina of Russia).
3. Her education
Catherine Oxenberg finished from St. Paul’s School, in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1979 and later graduated from Harvard University, after which she enrolled at Columbia University to further her education. She graduated with her mates upon completing her studies. She speaks Spanish and French fluently as well.
4. She is an award-winning actress
Although she is yet to win the Golden Globes, Academy Awards, or even the Emmys, Oxenberg has a number of other awards on her shelf. Early in her career in 1986, she took home a Bambi Award for her role in the TV series, Dynasty (1981).
A year before that, in 1985, she won 2 Soap Opera Digest Awards for her role in the same series in the categories of Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Prime Time Serial, as well as Outstanding New Actress in a Prime Time Serial.
It would take her until 2002 before she got another award to her name when she won the MovieGuide Awards for her role in The Miracle of the Cards (2001).
5. Love life
She has been married twice thus far. Her first attempt at marriage was with American former studio executive film producer Robert Evans. The pair tied the knot on July 12, 1998, in Beverly Hills, California. Sadly, the marriage was annulled nine days later, precisely on July 21. Before then, Evans had already married four times in less than 16 years and after that, he got married twice again in 4 years.
One year after the annulment, the actress met a young man called Casper Van Dien while they were filming The Collectors in 1999. In the same year, the pair, fortunately, met again but this time while filming Omega Code, an Evangelical Christian thriller. Van Dien finally won Catherine’s heart although seven years younger.
On 8th May 1999, they walked down the aisle at Graceland Wedding Chapel, in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 2005, after spending six years together as husband and wife.
6. She was on a reality TV show with Van Dien
While their marriage lasted, they had their own show, I Married a Princess which became popular in both the UK and the US.
7. Catherine Oxenberg has three children
The union with Casper was blessed with two girls, Amanda Maya and Celeste Alma Van Dien who were born in 2001 and 2003 respectively.
The girls have a half-sister called India Riven Oxenberg – their mother’s first child. It was revealed in October 2017 that her biological father is a former smuggler known as William Weitz Shaffer. India was born on 7th June 1991.
8. What is her net worth?
Oxenberg has worked hard through the years and her efforts have helped her to amass a fortune estimated at $25 Million.