Dancing with Princess Diana in 1985 was like a “fairy tale” for John Travolta. The Grease star, 67, recalled the iconic moment of when he and the Princes of Wales danced at the White House in a new interview with Esquire Spain. “I didn’t expect to be asked to dance with her,” the actor confessed (translated to English). “I had the great privilege and honor to do so. And I thought: ‘There must be a reason to do this and I better give it my all.’”
“This meant guiding the dance well and seeking to have fun. That was the easy part, but introducing myself to Diana in the proper way, conveying assurance, and asking her to be my dance partner was a complicated mission,” John continued.
The Saturday Night Fever star called the moment “magical.” “We are in the White House. It’s midnight. The whole stage is like a dream. I go up to her, touch her on the shoulder, ask her to dance. She turns around and when she sees me she displays that captivating smile, somewhat sad, and accepts my invitation. And there we were, dancing together like in a fairy tale,” he shared.
John added, “Who could imagine that something like this is going to happen to you one day? I was smart enough to register it in my memory as a very special, magical moment.”
The Pulp Fiction actor previously revealed that then-First Lady Nancy Reagan told him that Princes William and Harry’s mother wanted to dance with him. He told Dutch TV station Één in 2007 (via Vanity Fair), “It was the president’s wife, Nancy Reagan, that said, ‘It is her wish.’”
Pete Souza, who took photos of Diana and John on the dance floor that night, reflected on the night on his Instagram page, noting that he remembers “the moment as if it were yesterday.”
“The occasion was a black-tie dinner at the White House on November 9, 1985 in honor of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. It is often referred to as a “state dinner” but since Prince Charles was not a head of state, it was not in fact a state dinner (though it certainly had all the trappings of one),” Pete wrote. “A few little known facts from that night: Diana also danced that night with President Reagan, Tom Selleck, Clint Eastwood and Neil Diamond. She did not dance with Prince Charles. During her dance with John Travolta, the military band played a medley of songs from Travolta’s movie, Saturday Night Fever.”