Princess Diana Didn't Dance With Prince Charles at the White House State Dinner

Princess Diana and Prince Charles did not dance together at the White House dinner they attended, in 1985, according to photographer Pete Souza.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles' 1985 visit to the White House has returned to the spotlight of late, as both Diana's dance partner John Travolta and photographer Pete Souza have shared their recollections of the evening. Diana and Travolta's turn on the dance floor became one of the most enduring images of the royal, while her other high-profile dance partners included Neil Diamond and then-president Ronald Reagan, who hosted the dinner with his wife Nancy Reagan. But according to Souza, Diana didn't share a dance with one notable attendee: Prince Charles.

"The occasion was a black-tie dinner at the White House on November 9, 1985 in honor of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. It is often referred to as a “state dinner” but since Prince Charles was not a head of state, it was not in fact a state dinner (though it certainly had all the trappings of one)," Souza wrote on Instagram last week.

"A few little known facts from that night: Diana also danced that night with President Reagan, Tom Selleck, Clint Eastwood and Neil Diamond. She did not dance with Prince Charles," he continued. An indication of an already-troubled relationship, perhaps? Or simply of Charles' distaste for dancing?

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)

Souza recently shared a photo of Diana dancing with Neil Diamond (see it here), revealing the royal got ever so slightly flushed. "The one rock-solid remembrance I have is that Diana was visibly blushing when she danced with Neil. In the photograph, you can see that her cheeks are a bit red but in the moment it was even more obvious," he wrote.

Travolta, meanwhile, spoke to Esquire Mexico about his dance with royalty. "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," he recalled. "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.