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Princess Diana's 'Revenge Dress' Shocked People, But There's A Story Behind It

Gettyimages | Princess Diana Archive
By Laura Kelly

Royals have always been fascinating, but none have captured the public's attention and admiration as much as Princess Diana. Even after her leaving her tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles, Diana was still very loved by the people. And her fashion choices later on in life were absolutely revered by the public and the press. But the outfit that got the most attention? The little black dress. That little black dress. You know the one. The dress that the press dubbed 'the revenge dress.'

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Forced to Follow Royal Rules

Gettyimages | Bettmann

What made that little black dress so shocking to everyone was the startling deviation from Diana's usual clothing choices. Of course, prior to her divorce, Diana had to follow very strict rules regarding her attire. All members of the Royal Family must adhere to the dress code as dictated by the Queen.

Diana was also so young at the time of her marriage that she probably hadn't had much of a chance to really explore or experiment with her personal style. Nevertheless, during her time as a member of the Royal Family, Diana always looked regal and elegant.

Prince Charles Had Publically Confessed to Cheating

Gettyimages | Tim Graham

Diana and Charles had been officially separated since 1991, but wouldn't divorce until 1996. This was 1994.

In June of 1994, Prince Charles was interviewed for a tell-all documentary that aired on national television. The documentary was intended to be good PR for Charles and help him look more sympathetic to the people in the wake of his troubled marriage. But it backfired.

When asked if he had been faithful to Diana, Charles answered, “Yes. Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.”

The response did not go over well with the public.

The Dress Was A Last Minute Call

Gettyimages | Georges De Keerle

As humiliating as Charles' interview must have been for Diana, she wasn't one to take a setback lying down. She had been planning to go to a Vanity Fair party, but no one would have been surprised if she had decided to opt-out.

But Diana decided to go out and prove to everyone that she was doing great. Apparently, the slinky black cocktail dress was a last-minute decision. Diana had planned to wear a Valentino dress but after Charles' interview, she opted for a more daring look.

It Made an Impact

Gettyimages | Tim Graham

It broke all the rules, it shocked some, but it awed almost everyone. The dress certainly violated the royal dress code, but it didn't matter because Diana looked stunning.

In the wake of Charles' embarrassing interview, people were delighted to see Diana in good spirits and looking gorgeous. It didn't matter if the dress broke the rules; it's why Diana's fans loved it. After years of living under oppressive royal rules, she was now declaring herself her own woman making her own choices.

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