Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell claims HE picked out her infamous Vanity Fair party ‘revenge dress’ in a documentary sharing secrets of the royal wardrobe
- Princess Diana stunned in Christina Stambolian at the 1994 Vanity Fair party
- Prince Charles had revealed his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles to the world
- Former butler Paul Burrell claims he chose Diana’s iconic black ‘revenge dress’
- Channel 5’s Secrets of the Royal Dressmakers airs tonight at 8pm
Princess Diana’s former butler has claimed he was the one who picked out her legendary little black ‘revenge’ dress on the night of the 1994 Vanity Fair Summer Party.
Paul Burrell, 61, who served the Royal Family for a number of years as the Queen’s footman before becoming Diana’s butler, features in tonight’s Secrets of the Royal Dressmakers, airing on Channel 5.
He recounts consoling Princess Diana on the day that a shocking documentary was released detailing Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
Diana, who had built a reputation as a fashion icon, was set to attend a charity event at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, but didn’t feel up to it following the revelation made by her ex-husband.
Former royal butler Paul Burrell, 61, claims he advised Diana to wear her infamous ‘revenge’ dress (pictured) to the 1994 Vanity Fair Summer Party
Paul (pictured in 1997 with Princess Diana) says the royal was unsure about attending the annual event as a documentary revealing Prince Charles cheated on her was due to broadcast
‘The Prince of Wales had decided to tell the world that he had committed adultery with Camilla Parker Bowles on national television,’ says Paul.
‘The night that was broadcast, the Princess was due to attend the Serpentine Gallery for her friend Lord Palumbo.
‘She said, “I can’t go, I can’t face the world knowing what Charles has just said. And anyway I haven’t got anything to wear”.’
The former butler claims he then went to her wardrobe and selected her spectacular Christina Stambolian dress and convinced her to try it on, however she was hesitant about it fitting.
Princess Diana (pictured) made the last minute decision to wear Christina Stambolian after being angered by a Valentino press release
He continues: ‘I said, “Try it on.” She slipped into it, I zipped her up and she looked a million dollars.’
Diana had bought the dress three years ago but was worried that it was too daring.
The last minute decision to wear Christina Stambolian came after a press release by Valentino angered Diana in suggesting that she would be wearing one of their designs because it was ‘presumptuous’.
The tight-fitting black ‘revenge’ dress became one of the Princess’s most talked about looks of all time.
Commentators in tonight’s Channel 5 documentary agree that Diana ‘weaponised’ her appearance as a way of giving Prince Charles ‘two fingers’ for cheating on her.
A new Diana emerged after her divorce from Prince Charles (pictured together in 1993), which saw her wear racier hemlines and high heels
An estimated 14 million people watched Prince Charles gushing about his friendship with Camilla in conversation with Jonathan Dimbleby.
However, it was Diana’s dress that made headlines around the world.
Following Prince Charles and Diana’s divorce in 1996, the Princess began wearing racier hemlines and higher heels as she presented a new image.
Previously the royal had also been limited to wearing predominately British designers – but not anymore.
‘The world in terms of fashion was completely open to her, she could do what she wanted. One of the first things she did was start wearing high heels,’ says royal designer David Sassoon.
‘Her skirts were shorter, her clothes became much more overtly sexy and she really came into her own as a very glamorous, starry princess.’