Princess Diana Was "Visibly Blushing" When She Danced With Neil Diamond at the White House

Princess Diana danced with Neil Diamond at a White House state dinner in 1985—and the royal was "visibly blushing" throughout, photographer Pete Souza said.

  • Princess Diana didn't just dance with John Travolta at the White House in 1985; she also danced with Neil Diamond.
  • Photographer Pete Souza reflected on the moment on Instagram.
  • "The one rock-solid remembrance I have is that Diana was visibly blushing when she danced with Neil," Souza wrote.

Princess Diana's 1985 dance with John Travolta at the White House became one of the most enduring images of the royal—but Travolta wasn't the only major celebrity to accompany her on the dance floor that night. Photographer Pete Souza, who snapped Diana and Travolta in motion, reflected on the state dinner on Instagram, and shared a sweet anecdote about the Princess of Wales' dance with Neil Diamond.

"Accompanied by the military band, Neil sang a few of his songs. I distinctly remember him singing 'You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,'" Souza wrote, alongside a photo of Diana and Diamond dancing (see it here.) "My recollection—and I can’t be sure this is correct—is that he continued singing this song as he danced with her.⁣"

"The one rock-solid remembrance I have is that Diana was visibly blushing when she danced with Neil," Souza continued. "In the photograph, you can see that her cheeks are a bit red but in the moment it was even more obvious.⁣"

file photo princess diana dances with actor john travolta in a dress designed by victor edelstein, whilst attending a state dinner at the white house on the fifth anniversary of princess dianas death her loss is mourned by many people among them the fashion designers whose creations she wore with great style photo by © pool photographcorbiscorbis via getty images

(Image credit: Tim Graham)

Travolta, meanwhile, recently spoke to Esquire Mexico about his dance with Diana, as pictured above, likening the moment to a fairytale. "I didn't think they'd ask me to dance with her. I had the great privilege and honor of doing so, and I thought, 'There must be a reason for doing this and I better give it my all,'" he said. "That meant lead the dance well and make sure we had fun. That was the easy part, but just the fact of greeting Diana appropriately, being confident and asking her to dance was a complicated task."

"Think of the setting. We were at the White House. It's midnight. The stage is like a dream. I approach her, touch her elbow, invite her to dance," Travolta continued. "She spins around and gives me that captivating smile, just a little sad, and accepts my invitation. And there we were, dancing together as if it were a fairytale."

Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.