Diana’s iconic ‘revenge dress’ was chosen last minute after her original option was leaked, reveals royal biographer

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IT HAS been 25 years since Princess Diana stepped out in what has become known as the “revenge dress” at the Vanity Fair party at the Serpentine.

However, the iconic ensemble almost never happened according to royal biographer Andrew Morton.

Princess Diana wore a Christina Stambolian dress to the Vanity Fair party in 1994, in what has since been dubbed the “revenge dress”
Getty – Contributor

Speaking to the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine commemorating 25 years since the occasion, the author of Diana: Her True Story, revealed that she had a last minute change of heart.

He explained that on the day of the party, which took place the same day Prince Charles admitted to his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, Diana had been planning on wearing a Valentino number.

Morton said: “She got highly irritated when Valentino sent out a press release beforehand saying she was going to wear their dress, because she thought it was presumptuous.”

The expert explained that James Colthurst, a close friend of Diana’s, advised her to wear something more daring despite having “absolutely no clue about fashion.”

But a royal biographer revealed that she almost didn’t wear the famous frock
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Andrew Morton says she had been planning on wearing Valentino, but decided not to when the designer leaked her outfit choice
Getty – Contributor

Morton added: “She said to him she was so annoyed with Valentino, and he said, “Well, I don’t know, look, wear something else, something sexy.”

“She said, “I probably will,” and she picked out the Christina Stambolian dress.”

The dress worn back in 1994 has since become a key moment in the late Princess’ fashion legacy.

Although Diana had originally feared that the designer dress by Christina Stambolian may have been “too daring”, the late royal made fashion history when she donned the “revenge dress” in the wake of her split from Prince Charles.

A close friend encouraged her to “wear something sexy”
News Group Newspapers Ltd

But the revenge dress assumed an even more important role for the Princess.

On the very same night that Diana attended the annual garden party in London, people all over the UK were tuning into a BBC documentary in which Prince Charles confessed to cheating on his wife with Camilla Parker Bowles.

In an attempt to restore his public image after his 1992 split from the beloved “people’s princess”, Prince Charles filmed a two-and-a-half-hour documentary in which he discussed his role within the Royal Family and most notably his controversial divorce from Princess Diana.

However, the very purpose of this interview spectacularly backfired when journalist Jonathan Dimbleby directly asked Charles about his suspected infidelity.

The dress was worn on the same day that Prince Charles admitted to his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles
Getty – Contributor

Appearing to confirm the infidelity rumours, Charles insisted: “Mrs Parker Bowels is a great friend of mine.”

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

Although Charles and Camilla first dated back in 1971, the couple split when the prince joined the Royal Navy.

Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973, with the couple divorcing in 1995, a year before Charles and Diana’s split.

Aware that the details of Charles’ infidelity were about to become public knowledge, Diana’s best friend and fashion adviser Anna Harvey revealed that the late Princess turned to her fashion prowess to “hit back” at her ex-husband.


In an article which appeared in a 1997 issue of Vogue, Anna revealed that Diana opted for the “daring” design because she wanted to “look like a million dollars” on that difficult evening in June 1994.

Princess Diana’s close friend and former deputy editor of Vogue also revealed how the late Royal was “much freer” in her fashion choices following her divorce without any royal rules to ascribe to.

In other royal news, a royalist has claimed that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have “shot themselves in the foot” with Frogmore refurbishment.

And we showed you how Meghan Markle ‘copyrighted a whimsical quote her dad Thomas said about her freckles aged 14’.

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