The story of Princess Diana’s revenge dress is still being told today whether through Netflix’s The Crown or Broadway’s Diana the Musical. It’s only natural to wonder, “What is the real Princess Diana revenge dress story?” given the inherent mix of fact and fiction in these royal productions.
If you’ve seen Diana, the Musical on Netflix (and if you haven’t, don’t worry, this is a minor spoiler), you know that the princess’s revenge dress was portrayed as a spur-of-the-moment purchase.
Meanwhile, viewers of season 4 of The Crown got a glimpse of Lady Di in an all-black ensemble, a nod to the famous dress itself. But how accurate are these depictions of real-life occurrences? What follows is the definitive account of the events surrounding the infamous “revenge dress” worn by Princess Diana.
What Is The True Princess Diana’s Revenge Dress Story?
For those who are unfamiliar with the unofficial title, the Revenge Dress was the ultimate LBD designed by Christina Stambolian and worn by the princess to a Vanity Fair fundraising gala.
It was the same night that news of Prince Charles‘ affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles broke and Diana won the public’s heart by looking hot and strutting her stuff as the press snapped photos of her and everyone was saying, “Why the hell would he cheat on her?!”
Princess Diana was supposed to wear a different gown that evening but because her outfit had been leaked to the press, she decided to go with the Stambolian choice. That, at least, is the story we’ve been told.
Perhaps she changed her outfit because she knew the curve-hugging LBD would be the perfect dress to show the world that she was fine (in fact, thriving!) despite the news. It was the original “I’m fine Luv, have fun” flex!
Diana, The Musical’s Revenge Dress Story
The “eff-you dress” is what Diana, the Musical renames the dress Princess Diana wore in her moment of vengeance. The name, in all honesty, fits quite well! After Charles’ televised confession of his affair with Camilla, a staff member convinces Lady Di to attend a gala and she makes the last-minute decision to wear the dress.
Princess Diana’s black sheep sweater from the ‘80s is back – here’s how to get ithttps://t.co/QZEk0p2M5D
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 24, 2020
And while Diana did end up at the gala after Charles’ admission, she had already planned to go there before he told her. Broadway musical Diana’s costume designer William Ivey Long told People that Diana wore a “revenge dress” to get even with Charles.
He elaborated saying she made up her mind to “fight back” by wearing a dress she had previously rejected as “a little too much.” And she’d put that on to hit the town.
What Is The Crown’s Princess Diana’s Revenge Dress Story?
While we have to wait until season 5 of The Crown to see Princess Diana in her iconic revenge dress, we did get a hint of it in season 4 when Emma Corrin‘s Diana wore another black dress.
Whether or not you think Corrin looks like Princess Diana, you’ll have to concede that she did an excellent job bringing the beloved royal to life in the series. She was spot-on with her portrayal of Diana throughout the season, perfectly capturing the late princess’ voice, mannerisms and expressions to show how much the young princess matured as her world shifted at warp speed.
Amy Roberts, the show’s costume designer nailed the outfits just as she nailed Corrin’s performance. At the beginning of the season, Diana wears childish cardigans and shades of pale yellow, by the end of the season, she is seen in black having reached the height of her struggles while coping with bulimia and being crushed by Charles and Camilla’s affair.
Princess Diana wears a black halter-neck gown with suit-style lapels while pouting in a family portrait. However, her hair is a little too tamed leaving us to wonder if Corrin was channeling more Marilyn than Diana.
In a recent interview with Bustle, Roberts explained that the reason Diana wore a black dress in the season four finale was to foreshadow the arrival of the infamous “revenge dress” in the fifth season.
Roberts claims that the attention-grabbing quality of the dress was not limited to its sultry form. Roberts says in an interview with Bustle that her decision to wear all black was also symbolic. According to her, wearing all black was an act of “absolute defiance” because “[ the royal family] doesn’t like you to wear black” (Charles never liked Diana to wear black).
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