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Princess Diana’s ‘Travolta dress’ is stayin’ alive in Kensington Palace

13 December 2019 at 3:53 pm
Luke Michael
The iconic “Travolta dress” was one of Princess Diana’s favourite outfits

Luke Michael | 13 December 2019 at 3:53 pm


Princess Diana’s ‘Travolta dress’ is stayin’ alive in Kensington Palace
13 December 2019 at 3:53 pm

The iconic “Travolta dress” was one of Princess Diana’s favourite outfits

A British charity has paid more than half a million dollars to bring one of Princess Diana’s most iconic dresses back to Kensington Palace.

Princess Diana wore the midnight blue dress at a 1985 state banquet at the White House. It went down in fashion history when the royal took to the dancefloor with Hollywood star John Travolta, as songs played from his hit films Grease and Saturday Night Fever.

Images of the pair dancing together caused a global stir, leading the garment to be nicknamed the “Travolta dress”.

Now Historic Royal Palaces – an independent charity managing some of the UK’s unoccupied royal palaces – has bought the dress for £264,000 (A$514,052), after it failed to reach the reserve price of £200,000 at an auction on Monday.

The charity will return the dress to Kensington Palace, Diana’s home for over 15 years, where it will join the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection.

The dress was designed by Victor Edelstein and was reportedly one of the princess’s favourites.

She wore the dress several times before it was auctioned off to raise money for AIDS and cancer charities in June 1997, two months before her death.

Eleri Lynn, curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said the charity was delighted to buy the dress.

“Not only is the ‘Travolta’ dress a fantastic example of couture tailoring designed to dazzle on a state occasion, it represents a key moment in the story of 20th century royal fashion,” Lynn said.

“The photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales, dancing with John Travolta at the White House wearing this midnight blue Victor Edelstein gown are known the world over, with the dress’ twirling velvet skirt playing no small part in making this such a memorable image.”

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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