The Famous Designer Princess Diana Wouldn’t Wear—Because of Camilla

A fight on her honeymoon made Diana resent one iconic label.

Princess DianaTim Rooke/Shutterstock

Princess Diana was known for being a humanitarian, a modern royal, and a hands-on parent. But she also left a legacy on the fashion world, transforming into one of the biggest style icons of her generation. Her looks ranged from understated suits to downright regal gowns—and of course, who could forget her famous revenge dress? But there was one designer she steered clear of in the wake of her divorce from Prince Charles.

Just two months after the divorce was finalized in 1996, Diana made a trip to Australia. Before one charity event, designer Jayson Brundson was called on to help her pick out accessories. Diana’s hairdresser dumped a pile of shoes and bags for Brundson to rifle through. He spotted a pair of Chanel heels that he figured would complement her Versace dress nicely. They were chic, with bold, gold logos, but they got an immediate “no” from the Lady Di. “She said, ‘No, I can’t wear linked Cs, the double C,’” Brundson told Harper’s Bazaar. “I asked why, and she said, ‘It’s Camilla and Charles.’” These are 15 of Princess Diana’s most iconic fashion moments.

The interlocking Cs of the Chanel logo had given Diana a bad taste in her mouth since the earliest days of her marriage when she already suspected her husband of having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. “On our honeymoon, cufflinks arrive on [Charles’] wrists. Two Cs entwined like the Chanel C,” Diana revealed during a secret interview in 1991. “So I said, ‘Camilla gave you those, didn’t she?’ He said, ‘Yes, so what’s wrong? They’re a present from a friend.’ And boy, did we have a row. Jealousy, total jealousy. And it was such a good idea, the two Cs, but it wasn’t that clever.” Here are more secrets no one knew about Princess Diana until after her death.

So while she had sported Chanel bags and accessories before, those interlocking Cs were too much when she was stinging from the recent end to her marriage. “It was definitely the timing, it being post-divorce,” Brundson said. “She would have seen linked Cs and they would have just reminded her of Charles and Camilla. … And I think for photo optics, people would have honed in on that, considering it was so fresh after the divorce.”

Princess Diana chanel bagTim Rooke/Shutterstock

But time would go on, and the pain of the divorce would fade. Two months before her death, she wore a Chanel bracelet and bag when visiting New York in 1997, just before auctioning off 79 dresses for charity. The auction brought in $3.25 million, proving how important she was to the fashion landscape. See more proof from these 20 stunning, rarely seen photos of Princess Diana.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.