Known as her ‘Travolta’ dress, this midnight-blue velvet evening dress is one of the most memorable in Diana’s wardrobe.
Worn to a state dinner at the White House in November 1985, Diana, who had once dreamed of becoming a ballerina, loved the way it swirled around her knees when she took to the dance floor with actor John Travolta.
And for the Princess, it was also a chance to show Charles exactly what he was missing.
Inspired by an Edwardian dinner dress, its off-the-shoulder bodice, flattering midnight-blue colour and ruched detail made this gown one of Diana’s favourites, and it was always worn with her trademark pearl and sapphire choker.
‘The craftsmanship is just incredible,’ says exhibition curator Eleri Lynn. ‘The bottom of the dress swirls out from the knee in a flurry of fabric and gives the pictures so much movement.
‘This dress makes the difference between a great picture and an iconic one. And Diana knew that.’
It sold at Diana’s 1997 charity auction of her dresses for more than £150,000, and sold again three years ago for almost £250,000.