Princess Diana almost ditched this 'racy dress' as she feared it would embarrass Prince William

Princess Diana and her sons Prince William and Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

Princess Diana almost ditched this 'racy dress' as she feared it would embarrass her teenage son Prince William.

Princess Diana chose to wear a 'racy dress' to the 1996 Met Gala but almost picked something else as she feared the outfit would embarrass her son, Prince William.

The mum-of-two is said to have 'embarrassed' her son Prince William (opens in new tab) after their iconic trip to Thorpe Park. And more recently, the Duke of Cambridge proved he does embarrass easily when he blushed after a cheeky admirer asked for a kiss (opens in new tab) during his tour of Scotland.

Diana's outfits are iconic and even after her tragic death in 1997, the Princess has gone on to inspire future generations and young royals like Kate Middleton, who replicated her iconic outfit (opens in new tab) and Meghan Markle has also made a touching tribute to Princess Diana (opens in new tab) in her first TV interview since bombshell Oprah chat.

But while Diana was ever pushing the boundaries when it came to fashion, there was one dress that she was too worried to wear - and almost didn't - as she didn't want to cause her teenage son Prince William any embarrassment.

According to the Daily Mail, Diana feared the gown was "so racy, in fact, [she] very nearly didn't wear the dress to New York's Met Gala for fear Prince William, then 14, wouldn't like it being so revealing."

Princess Diana

But Diana did wear the dress and teamed it up with her legendary pearl and sapphire choker necklace, which she famously wore when dancing with John Travolta at the White House back in 1985.

In royal biographer Katie Nicholl’s 2010 biography William and Harry, she spoke to William's childhood friend Kitty Dimbleby, who was close to the young royal. And she recalled noticing her friend was 'distracted' by his parents. She said, "I do remember William being distracted by what was going on at home. At the time there was a lot in the newspapers about Charles and Diana's marriage being in trouble."

She added, "William told me, 'Papa never embarrasses me but Mummy sometimes does.'"

Prince William, Diana and his father Prince Charles

Diana's racy dress came at a time when she had just divorced Prince Charles and Bruce Oldfield once remembered the way he and other designers were challenged to dream up new outfit ideas for the Princess.

He confessed, “She was lovely little Shy Di. She was putty in the hands of anybody, really. We all had to do things that were a little bit grander. I was always trying to make her look sexy, not romantic.’

But Prince William once recalled one of his favourite fashion memories of his mother when she surprised him with a trio of models. He said, "She organised when I came home from school, to have Cindy Crawford, Chrissy Turlington and Naomi Campbell waiting at the top of the stairs, I was a 12 or 13-year-old boy who had posters of them on his wall and I went bright red, and didn't quite know what to say and fumbled and pretty much fell down the stairs on the way out. I was completely and utterly starstruck."

Prince William's model idols Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell

Despite the blushing moments, Prince William also had a deep love for his mother. In an interview with GQ magazine in 2017, Prince William said, "One thing I can always say about my mother is she smothered Harry and me in love. Twenty years on I still feel the love she gave us and that is testament to her massive heart and her amazing ability to be a great mother."

Meanwhile, last years' Met Ball was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic and this year it has been pushed back until September and promises to be a “more intimate version”.

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Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.