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Charles refused to offer a clear sound bite for the history books; Diana, however, did so dutifully. A year later she appeared in her own television special and served up such a delicious damnation you could embroider it on a pillow. “There were three of us in this marriage,” she said. “So it was a bit crowded.” Diana rimmed her big blue eyes in uncharacteristically heavy black eyeliner for the top secret interview, amping up the drama every time she peered up to answer a question. It made her own admission of infidelity feel justified (to this day, her indiscretions are far less cited). Diana supposedly did not want a divorce; she was happy to live her separate life and retain her title. But the interview sealed her fate, with the queen requesting the couple split.
Diana and her fashion remain omnipresent today, decades after her death, as a source of inspiration for designers. Tory Burch cited Diana’s pre-royal Sloaney style in her spring 2020 collection, while Virgil Abloh based his spring 2018 Off-White collection on Diana’s free spirit. French Vogue worked with Hailey Bieber to recreate some of those infamous off-duty looks, including sweatpants tucked into cowboy boots, to rave reviews on social media.
To a younger generation of fashionable followers, Diana’s legacy isn’t weighed down by scandal or divorce. They know a bit about her drama, but it doesn’t define her. She’s a princess who wore really fabulous clothes, clothes that remain vastly more interesting than the wardrobes of the cautious younger royals today. “Diana was a nonfictional Carrie Bradshaw,” said Harling Ross, the former brand director at the fashion website previously known as Man Repeller, citing the lead character of Sex and the City (which, incidentally, premiered a year after Diana’s death).