Princess Diana was known for being a humanitarian, a modern royal, and a hands-on parent. But she also left a legacy on the fashion world, transforming into one of the biggest style icons of her generation. Her looks ranged from understated suits to downright regal gowns—and of course, who could forget her famous revenge dress? But there was one designer she steered clear of in the wake of her divorce from Prince Charles.
Just two months after the divorce was finalized in 1996, Diana made a trip to Australia. Before one charity event, designer Jayson Brundson was called on to help her pick out accessories. Diana’s hairdresser dumped a pile of shoes and bags for Brundson to rifle through. He spotted a pair of Chanel heels that he figured would complement her Versace dress nicely. They were chic, with bold, gold logos, but they got an immediate “no” from the Lady Di. “She said, ‘No, I can’t wear linked Cs, the double C,’” Brundson told Harper’s Bazaar. “I asked why, and she said, ‘It’s Camilla and Charles.’” These are 15 of Princess Diana’s most iconic fashion moments.
Princess Diana Style Transformation
Princess Diana Style Transformation
Lady Diana Spencer, later the wife of Prince Charles, on her first birthday at Park House, Sandringham.
A very young Diana in a fancy pram.
Lady Di at age 2.
Young Lady Diana in a buttoned up dark coat.
Lady Diana at age 8, wearing a matching dress and headband.
Diana on holiday with her family, causal in a sweater and jeans.
Diana let her hair grow long during her youth, here age 10 in a wide-brimmed black hat.
Diana always had a passion for children, here at 19 working as a Nursery Assistant at a Kindergarten school.
Diana and Charles pose on the day of their engagement, showing off her diamond and sapphire engagement ring.
Diana was stunning on her wedding day, with the most glamorous dress and bouquet -- truly fit for a Princess.
The royal couple during their honeymoon in Scotland.
Diana attended an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in a dress designed by Bellville Sassoon.
Princess Diana, pregnant and glowing at a Polo match in Windsor.
The Prince and Princess visit Wales, Diana wearing a suede beret by John Boyd and a coatdress by Arabella Pollen.
Diana was a vision in yellow as she and Charles visited a school in Alice Springs, Australia.
We're loving the pops of pink in Diana's outfit, here while watching Charles play Polo.
Diana talks with Prince Charles, who is on horseback, at a Polo match.
Diana is pretty in pink while attending the ballet Swan Lake.
Diana and a tiny Prince William leaving the Royal Yacht, the Princess in a belted plaid jacket.
Diana laughs with Nancy Reagan, the two ladies looking radiant in hues of red and white.
Diana rests her chin in her hands on the steps of her home at Highgrove.
Diana at a desert picnic in Saudi Arabia, wearing a purple and white outfit by Catherine Walker.
Diana attended Cannes Film Festival, wearing a stunning ice blue gown by Catherine Walker.
Diana was stunning at an evening function during a visit to Germany, wearing a gown by Victor Edelstein.
Princess Diana during a visit to Melbourne.
Diana and Wills at a polo club, the Princess casually dressed in a blazer with the British Lung Foundation logo on the front of her t-shirt.
Diana looked radiant in red and purple while in Hong Kong, the outfit designed by Catherine Walker.
During her visit to Hong Kong, Diana wore this stunning tiara and white dress, later known as the "Elvis Dress."
The Princess of Wales in mint on an official visit to Hungary.
Diana and her boys, attending a church service. Diana wore a pink and purple suit by Catherine Walker.
Diana wears her favorite designer once again, Catherine Walker, during an official visit in Brazil.
Diana wore this white dress and black jacket designed by Catherine Walker during a visit to Salisbury.
Diana was stunning at a banquet in Seoul, wearing the Spencer family tiara and a gown by Catherine Walker.
Diana looked lovely in this pastel suit, crouching down to speak with a young boy.
Lord Palumbo greets Princess Diana, wearing a short black cocktail dress designed by Christina Stambolian, as she atttends a gala.
Diana visited army barracks, wearing a Versace suit and a hat by Philip Somerville.
The Princess of Wales was gorgeous in this royal purple gown during a visit to Chicago.
Diana visited Washington, dazzling the entire country in this lovely white gown.
Diana was lovely in this pale blue cocktail dress by Catherine Walker, attending a charity reception.
Diana, Princess of Wales, was radiant in red during another visit to Washington, D.C.
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The interlocking Cs of the Chanel logo had given Diana a bad taste in her mouth since the earliest days of her marriage when she already suspected her husband of having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. “On our honeymoon, cufflinks arrive on [Charles’] wrists. Two Cs entwined like the Chanel C,” Diana revealed during a secret interview in 1991. “So I said, ‘Camilla gave you those, didn’t she?’ He said, ‘Yes, so what’s wrong? They’re a present from a friend.’ And boy, did we have a row. Jealousy, total jealousy. And it was such a good idea, the two Cs, but it wasn’t that clever.” Here are more secrets no one knew about Princess Diana until after her death.
So while she had sported Chanel bags and accessories before, those interlocking Cs were too much when she was stinging from the recent end to her marriage. “It was definitely the timing, it being post-divorce,” Brundson said. “She would have seen linked Cs and they would have just reminded her of Charles and Camilla. … And I think for photo optics, people would have honed in on that, considering it was so fresh after the divorce.”
But time would go on, and the pain of the divorce would fade. Two months before her death, she wore a Chanel bracelet and bag when visiting New York in 1997, just before auctioning off 79 dresses for charity. The auction brought in $3.25 million, proving how important she was to the fashion landscape. See more proof from these 20 stunning, rarely seen photos of Princess Diana.