True story behind the iconic frock

HER outfits are so iconic that she still influences fashion today – but there’s one outfit Princess Diana wore that particularly stands out.

The Princess of Wales – who would have turned 60 on July 1 – wowed the world when she stepped out in the sexy ensemble that has come to be known as her ‘revenge dress’.

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Princess Diana’s ‘revenge dress’ is one of her most iconic outfitsCredit: Getty – Contributor

It has gone down in the history books as one of the famous frocks of all time.

But what exactly was the true story behind it?

What was Princess Diana’s revenge dress?

On June 29, 1994, the princess wore a little black dress to a dinner at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens.

It featured a plunging neckline and thigh-high split – and was a sexier look than she had ever stepped out in before at an official function.

The Princess of Wales wore the black frock to the Serpentine Gallery in 1994

The Princess of Wales wore the black frock to the Serpentine Gallery in 1994Credit: Rex Features

The royal, then 33, had deliberately chosen to wear the frock on the same night that her estranged husband, Prince Charles, admitted to adultery during their marriage in a TV interview.

According to her biographer Andrew Morton, she had been planning on wearing a Valentino number, but was left irritated when they sent out a premature press release.

She initially feared the LBD – by designer Christina Stambolian – was “too daring”.

But her eventual wardrobe choice was a triumph – and the next day her glamorous image made the cover of national newspapers, including The Sun.

What did Prince Charles say in the 1994 ITV documentary?

On the same evening that his wife made her daring wardrobe choice, Prince Charles – from whom she had separated in 1992 – was taking part in a BBC documentary.

The Prince of Wales, then 46, confessed to cheating with his former girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles, who is now the Duchess of Cornwall.

The late royal made the front page the next day

The late royal made the front page the next dayCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

In an effort to restore his public image after his 1992 split from the “people’s princess”, the Queen’s son took part in the two-and-a-half-hour programme with Jonathan Dimbleby.

But it backfired when he was asked about his suspected infidelity, and – appearing to confirm the rumours – Charles insisted: “Mrs Parker Bowels is a great friend of mine.”

When asked directly if he had been “faithful and honourable” to his wife throughout their 15-year marriage, he replied: “Yes, until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.”

Who is designer Christina Stambolian?

The designer created the princess’ head-turning dress.

She was born in Greece and trained in Athens, before coming to London in 1970 to work in the fashion industry.

She deliberately wore it out on the same night Prince Charles confirmed adultery on TV

She deliberately wore it out on the same night Prince Charles confirmed adultery on TVCredit: Channel 5

The famous dress originally cost £900, and had been sat in the late royal’s wardrobe for three years before she slipped it on.

Reflecting on the evening she wore it, Stambolian said that the princess “chose not to play the scene like Odette, innocent in white.

“She was clearly angry. She played it like Odile, in black. She wore bright red nail enamel, which we had never seen her do before. She was saying ‘Let’s be wicked tonight!'”

What happened to the revenge dress?

Just two months before she was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997, the princess requested that the frock be sold in a charity auction, with proceeds benefiting cancer and AIDS-related organisations.

A total of 79 pieces belonging to the her were put up at Christie’s in New York – including her ‘Elvis’ and ‘Travolta’ dresses.

It was designed by Christina Stambolian

It was designed by Christina StambolianCredit: Getty

The ‘revenge dress’ was sold for $69,000 – approximately £122,000 – according to People.

In 2017, it was exhibited at the Museum of Style in Newbridge, County Kildare for their exhibition Diana: A Fashion Legacy.

What was the choker Princess Diana wore?

The impressive piece of jewellery was originally a gift from the late Queen Mother.

She gave the princess a Sri Lankan sapphire-and-diamond brooch as a wedding present on her big day in 1981, according to the Telegraph.

The newlywed wore it on a number of occasions after she had married – but she eventually had it mounted on seven strands of pearls to create a wide choker.

Other notable occasions she wore it include when she danced with John Travolta at the White House in 1985, and at the Met Gala in 1996.

In other royal news, we revealed how the Queen has a secret WhatsApp group where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared baby Lilibet pics.

We also told you how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have caused fury by creating just 35 minutes of content so far in return for £18m Spotify deal.

And an expert has claimed that Princess Diana remained a little in love with Prince Charles even after their divorce.

Princess of Wales’ wedding dress goes on display at Kensington Palace


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