Princess Di goes bra-less in revenge dress at 1996 Met Gala, felt ‘liberated’ after divorce.

Just months after breaking free from the palace’s protocols, Princess Diana made a bold statement at the 1996 Met Gala, turning heads in a provocative revenge dress.

The inky-colored, lingerie-inspired dress, which the late princess chose to wear without a bra, “was a reflection of how she was already feeling” and symbolized the liberation she experienced after divorcing the now king.

Keep reading to discover more about Diana’s stunning look at the New York event!

Just like Cinderella, Princess Diana slipped into her chariot before midnight, leaving the Met Gala ball on December 9, 1996.

Before the late Princess of Wales departed in a stretch limo, which took her from New York’s Metropolitan Museum to her room at the Carlyle Hotel, she sipped champagne, dined with the world’s top designers, and completely stunned event-goers with her unroyal attire.

After 15 years of marriage, Diana was living freely, untethered from the strict rules of the royal family. Her divorce from the now King Charles III had been finalized in August of the same year.

Lingerie-inspired dress

At her first Met Gala appearance, Diana wore a lingerie-inspired silk navy-blue slip dress adorned with black lace, paired with a matching silk robe. She accessorized the ensemble with sparkling sapphire earrings and a choker necklace, which she designed from a sapphire brooch gifted by the Queen Mother on her wedding day to Charles.

But it wasn’t just the sapphire jewelry that was turning heads that evening.

According to Eloise Moran, author of “The Lady Di Look Book: What Diana Was Trying to Tell Us Through Her Clothes,” Diana’s ensemble was a “revenge” look.

“That was one of her most shocking dresses. But I thought she looked fabulous. She just looks so happy and confident,” Moran told Yahoo. “I think she was embracing it and enjoying it. She knew she could never get rid of the attention and the spotlight on her, but I think she was positioning it in a different way, as a kind of international megastar, Marilyn Monroe-type icon rather than a member of the royal family. And I think the dress really reflected that.”


Fashion editor Hilary Alexander notes that while it’s common to see celebrities “wearing underwear as outerwear,” it’s quite another matter for a princess to do so at a formal event.

Speaking of Diana’s midnight blue dress, which cost about $12,500 at the time, Alexander says, “It is a very sensual rather than overly sexy dress, and it is a million miles away from the more formal outfits she usually picks.”

“It represents a new kind of royal dressing,” she writes in the Daily Mail.

However, not everyone was impressed by Diana’s daring silhouette.

“It was not so much haute couture as Oh! Couture,” said fashion critic Brenda Polan. “The problem, and there is no delicate way of saying this, is that it looked like she had accidentally stepped out in her nightie, which meant, of course, that she wasn’t wearing a bra.”

The first revenge dress

Still, Diana seamlessly pulled off the daring look, much like she did in 1994 when Charles “aired out some serious dirty laundry” and confirmed his affair with Camilla, now the queen consort.

But the late princess didn’t miss a beat.

On June 29, 1994 – the same day her then-husband made his confession – Diana attended an event at London’s Serpentine Gallery in a jaw-dropping “revenge dress.”

Turning heads at the gala, Diana looked stunning in a fitted, black, off-the-shoulder dress with an asymmetrical hemline and a chiffon train that flowed in the wind.

“She didn’t have to say anything with words. It was a fashion response; that dress became her clear message to Charles and the world,” People writes.


At the Met Gala, her fashion conveyed a message of freedom.

John Galliano, the designer of Diana’s Christian Dior dress, told the Wall Street Journal in 2018 that she felt “liberated” since her divorce, deciding to also liberate her breasts by going bra-less.

“It was a reflection of how she was already feeling,” Galliano said of her risqué gown.

What do you think of the late Princess Di shedding her royal attire and embracing more sensual looks? Please share your thoughts with us and then share this story so we can hear what others have to say!

Princess Di goes bra-less in revenge dress at 1996 Met Gala, felt ‘liberated’ after divorce.
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