What Princess Diana Wore to Her Only Met Gala Appearance

  • Princess Diana made her only Met Gala appearance in 1996, shortly after divorcing Prince Charles.
  • She wore a lingerie-inspired silk slip dress designed by John Galliano.
  • Diana reportedly was worried that the dress would embarrass Prince William, who was 14 at the time.

Fashion’s biggest night is here, which means it’s the perfect time to dive into the Met Gala archives.

As celebrities prepare for Monday’s theme celebrating “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” we wanted to look back on one of the only Met Gala appearances made by a British royal.

Princess Diana made a splash at her one and only Met Gala in 1996.

Princess Diana Met Gala 1996

Princess Diana wore a gown designed by John Galliano.

Patrick McMullan / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Diana’s debut came just three months after she finalized her divorce from Prince Charles, a story that made headlines around the globe.

But Princess Diana was not afraid to go bold as she arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on December 9, 1996.

The year’s theme paid tribute to Christian Dior, so Diana opted for a dress designed by John Galliano, who had just become the head designer of the legendary French fashion house.

Diana wore a lingerie-inspired silk navy-blue slip dress with black lace and paired the ensemble with a matching silk robe.

She accessorized the outfit with sapphire earrings and a sapphire choker necklace that matched her engagement ring.

Princess Diana Met Gala 1996

Princess Diana at the 1996 Met Gala.

Anwar Hussein / Getty Images

Eloise Moran, author of the upcoming book “The Lady Di Look Book: What Diana Was Trying To Tell Us Through Her Clothes,” told Yahoo! that Diana’s Met Gala ensemble was definitely a “revenge” look following her divorce from Prince Charles.

“That was one of her most shocking dresses,” Moran told the site. “But I thought she looked fabulous. She just looks so happy and confident.”

“I think she was embracing it and enjoying it,” Moran added. “She knew she could never get rid of the attention and the spotlight on her, but I think she was positioning it in a different way, as a kind of international megastar, Marilyn Monroe-type icon rather than a member of the royal family. And I think the dress really reflected that. “

Royal biographer Katie Nicholl, who wrote “William and Harry,” revealed that Diana did have some reservations about the daring dress – worrying that it might embarrass 14-year-old William.

But the gown is now part of fashion history, even going on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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