Princess Diana's iconic dress she danced with John Travolta in is now on display at Kensington Palace

The famous ‘Travolta’ dress Princess Diana wore to dance with John Travolta comes out of quarantine

The iconic gown is now on display at the late Princess of Wales’ former home

After over four months of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kensington Palace reopened to visitors on Thursday with a very special display. The iconic Victor Edelstein dress that Princess Diana wore to a 1985 White House Gala, where she famously hit the dance floor with John Travolta, is being exhibited at the late Princess of Wales’ former home. Prior to joining the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, Diana’s gown, nicknamed the “Travolta” dress, was frozen in an isolation room. “To celebrate the re-opening, the famous ‘Travolta dress’, worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, will go on display at the palace for the first time since it was acquired by Historic Royal Palaces at auction in 2019,” a statement read. “Like Kensington Palace itself, the dress is now coming out of isolation, and will be on display at the Princess’s former home this Summer for visitors to enjoy.”

Princess Diana wore the dress when she famously danced with John Travolta at the White House in 1985©WireImage
Princess Diana wore the dress when she famously danced with John Travolta at the White House in 1985

Earlier this week, the Historic Royal Palaces’ social media account shared a video of the gown being unboxed and set up for display. “This week, we welcome Diana, Princess of Wales’s ‘Travolta’ dress back to #KensingtonPalace. One of the most iconic fashion statements of the 20th century, the Princess of Wales commissioned this extraordinary midnight blue velvet gown from couturier (and regular collaborator) Victor Edelstein, and debuted it at a gala dinner at the White House in 1985,” the caption read.

“There, Diana was photographed “gliding around the room” dancing with actor John Travolta, creating one of the most famous and enduring images of her career 👗,” the post continued. “Since it joined our Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection in 2019, the dress has spent the last few months in quarantine (pretty much like the rest of us!) to ensure it doesn’t pass on any bugs or pests on to the rest of our priceless collection. Now, it’s finally ready for public display, right on time for us to reopen the doors of the palace tomorrow.”

The gown was acquired by the independent charity Historic Royal Palaces in 2019 at an auction for £220,000 (roughly $286,995), according to HOLA! USA’s sister brand HELLO!. John told ABC News in 2016 that dancing with the Princess of Wales at the White House was “one of the highlights of my life.” The Grease star also reflected on the royal moment in 2007 telling Dutch TV station Één, “I didn’t know or expect to dance with Princess Diana, and it was the president’s wife, Nancy Reagan, that said, ‘It is her wish.’”

John added, “At midnight, I had to tap her on her shoulder, and I had to say, ’Would you care to dance.’ She turned around and dipped her head in that Lady Diana way and we were off for 15 minutes dancing. I’ll never forget it. I’m so honored that I was able to experience it, and I know for a fact that it was a highlight of being in the United States; it was her favorite moment. So I feel I made her life better; she made my life better; and I’m very sorry that she’s not here.”

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