In June 1997, Diana was photographed dressed in a mint-green Chanel skirt suit with no blouse, carrying a white quilted Chanel bag and wearing Jimmy Choo high heels. She was seen leaving the Carlyle hotel in Manhattan's Upper East Side to lunch with 'New Yorker' editor Tina Brown and Anna Wintour, the editor of 'Vogue' at the Four Seasons restaurant.
The 2003 book, 'A Royal Duty' by Paul Burrell stated, "The princess adored life in Manhattan: shopping on Fifth Avenue, lunching at the Four Seasons, staying always at the Carlyle hotel." The meeting was to publicize the upcoming sale of Diana's 79 dresses at Christies Auction in New York City. "I've kept a few things but you know that Catherine Walker with all the bugle beads? People in England don't wear those kind of clothes anymore," Diana explained.
Over lunch, Diana talked about her mission to help land-mine victims, "That’s what I am for." When Tina told Diana the 1998 G7 conference would take place in Birmingham, Diana reportedly said, "Oh, God! Couldn’t they have thought of somewhere less dreary? Birmingham!" The trio also talked about Tony Blair. "I think at last I will have someone who will know how to use me," Diana remarked. "He’s told me he wants me to go on some missions. I'd really, really like to go to China. I'm very good at sorting people's heads out. All my hopes are on William now. I don't want to push him. Charles suggested he might go to Hong Kong for the handover, but he said, 'Mummy, must I? I just don't feel ready.'"
One year earlier in June 1996, Raquel Welch joined the cast of 'Central Park West' playing Diana Brock. In one scene, the characters of Raquel Welch and Lauren Hutton were filmed involved in a contretemps at the Four Seasons. "I was getting a lot of advice from my representatives not to do it but the character is a hoot, and it's not like I'm getting every fabulous part that comes around in films," Raquel Welch told the press at the time.
The revamped version of 'CPW' with Raquel Welch playing Diana was designed to appeal to a network which generally attracted an older audience. As noted, the old 'CPW' didn't attract many viewers of any age group. The new 'CPW' tried to appeal to a cross-section of age groups. Darren Star told the press, "It (CBS) gave me the opportunity to do two shows: 'Central Park West 1' and 'Central Park West 2'. CBS asked me to basically totally reconfigure the show.
"I really believe we're doing the right show for CBS now. I think the audience will be excited to see Raquel. She's so much fun to watch. Looking back, the show is so radically changed. It's amazing that we were able to change this show to this degree without totally shutting down. We were sort of retooling along the way." As part of the retooling, Gerald McRaney was brought onto the set of 'CPW'.
"He's such a tremendous actor and plays such a great character (Adam Brock). He plays a Southern media tycoon, a good guy, who ends up acquiring the magazine from Ron Leibman through this sort of hostile takeover. In retaliation, Ron Leibman discovers that Gerald McRaney has an ex-wife whom he hasn't seen in 17 years who owns 25% of his company and is living in Monte Carlo - and that happens to be Raquel Welch," Darren Star revealed.
Raquel Welch recounted, "They sent me a script that was a very funny, bitchy, meaty character. It's New York City, it's glamorous and my character's forceful, independent and says what's on her mind. Lauren Hutton's character has been beefed up. There's going to be May-December hookups; there's going to be all kinds of things going on between the younger crowd and the more sophisticated older crowd. It's going to be glamorous. Lauren's character is more classic and understated and more traditional in her fashion look. My character is more flamboyant."
Darren Star insisted, "To me, Raquel Welch is like the Heather Locklear of the CBS demo. She is fun to watch. It was really refreshing to work with some more mature actors, which I really haven't had the opportunity to do, and sort of play those romantic stories with older actors who had every bit as much sexuality as the young actors do. CBS is not Fox. They want quicker results, and when you are dealing with a show that is not a star-driven show, you are not going to get that instant viewership. Had this show been on Fox following 'Melrose Place', I think it would have been a different story."
Of the new episodes, "I'm very happy it's coming back twice a week for 4 weeks. It kind of gives the show a lot of momentum. It means people don't have to wait an entire summer to get invested. We will know fairly quickly if it catches on." Overseas, 'CPW' was a big hit. Ron Leibman observed, "They (CBS and Darren Star) are obviously trying to save the show in America so they can make a lot of money. Come on, this is the world of television. We are not doing Chekhov here. This is about trying to make this show a hit in the United States as much as, apparently, it has caught on in the European market."
Of his storyline, Ron Leibman recalled, "One day I was doing 'Melrose Place'; the next day I was doing 'Dynasty'. One day I was working with Mariel Hemingway and the next day I was working with Gerald McRaney, who was not as cute." Raquel Welch added, "I think that these bad-girl characters are the most fun to play. With this one, particularly, I saw the opportunity to have my tongue in my cheek.
"I don't want anybody to think this is some kind of star turn. Even when I was on Broadway, I said, it's fine to have my name on the marquee, but if we don't deliver, it doesn't make any difference. Fortunately, I'm not the only name here, so it wasn't sticking my neck out that far. I'm very much a part of an ensemble. I think that television is pretty much where it's at right now.
"I think that when you're starting out in your career, you certainly do believe that it's going to be a bit different than it actually is. I really think that it's too bad that people are more interested in the powerbrokering of the business than in the process. I am an artist, and that's why I came into the business … (and) for most artists the performers, writers and even the directors the thing that really draws them to the business is the process; they think they're going to be involved in a creative thing, and they will be immersed in that, and it will be something that will carry them through all the hardships, because they want to see a great product in the end."