Princess Diana turned heads, was cover girl in Philadelphia Eagles jacket

Princess Diana dazzled for more than a decade on the covers of Folks newspaper, sporting off-the-shoulder dresses, beaded necklaces and oversized hats, which underscored fashionable glamour. Diana smiled on the June 13, 1994 release, barely trying to be specific, as the title rang out: DIANA’S BOLD NEW LIFE. Swim topless? holistic therapy? Aromatherapy? Something happens, as a liberated Diana struggles to find herself.

Diana’s hooded lady outfit?

Of course, something happened for Girl Di, as she got caught — out of all trouble — in a Philadelphia Eagles varsity bomber jacket.

Her fashion sense in this matter was healthier for Rocky than for royalty, Diana – who died 25 years ago this week – had occasionally been photographed over the years in the jacket, which was a gift from the Eagles owner of the time, Leonard Tose.

Imagine, Diana eating a cold and raising a ruckus with Eagles fans in the cheap 700 stage seats at the Old Veterans Stadium.

OK, probably not, because Diana wasn’t generally known as an NFL fan and she had no idea about the Eagles until an opportunity meeting with the team’s statistician at Grace Kelly’s funeral. According to the story, Eagles statistician Jack Edelstein – famous in his Related Press obituary as a “master of doublespeak and once dated Marilyn Monroe” – was a detailed good friend of longtime Philadelphia politician Jack Kelly. and the brother of Princess Grace of Monaco. Edelstein was a guest at the 1982 funeral and during a quick chat with Diana, the Princess talked about her favorite colors which were ‘green and silver’. This data prompted Edelstein to ask Tose to ship Diana a care package that included Eagles shirts and hats and other merchandise.

Oh, and a tailored jacket.

“Leonard loved grand gestures and he loved spending money,” said retired sportswriter Ray Didinger, who fielded the Eagles for 52 years. “It’s not like they pulled anything off the rack.”

Diana wore her Eagles jacket like a die-hard South Philly fan and, unlike her wardrobe which has always celebrated top British designers, it was not a one-time sport. She wore it to amusement parks, public outings, picking up Prince Harry from Wetherby Preparator, and on this Folks cowl, the Eagles helmet emblem on the jacket’s white sleeve stood out at grocery checkouts. Across the country.

Who wanted Sports Illustrated for this kind of ad?

“The thing about the jacket that made it so iconic was first and foremost that it was all about sportswear and streetwear, which is so rare to see a royal in any type of clothing. sportswear or streetwear like that,” said Natasha Chook, editor-in-chief. (digital) by Elle U. Okay. “It was also an emblem of Americana which was very fashionable at the time. Madonna was also someone we idolized. You would so rarely see a member of the British royal family dress in a way that is emblematic of Americana or any of these symbols.

Chook mentioned that the very fact that Diana wore a one-of-a-kind piece gave the jacket “that little extra edge.”

“She spoke with her clothes on in a way that she often didn’t have the ability to speak with her voice,” Chook said.

It was better than a cool jacket. Not directly, the jacket was Diana poking her nose over the clothes expected out of her house. Of course, there was a place for wide-brimmed hats and painted garments, tiaras and sequin ball gowns. She was also a princess who was keen on defying royal protocol and the Eagles jacket represented a very informal Di.

“One of the things we like to celebrate about Diana is that she was a bit of a renegade,” Chook said. “That’s one of the reasons we loved Harry during his teenage years too, despite some of his disguises. We love someone in the UK who opposes the system and we love someone who doesn’t does not necessarily seem to have its nose in the air.

Diana was so grateful that she sent a handwritten thank you note to the Eagles.

Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Diana, Princess of Wales wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jacket to drop off her son Prince Harry at Wetherby College London, January 1991.

Philly quickly needed the same product as the princess.

“Everyone wanted to run and buy the jacket. Of course,” Didinger said, “it was one of a kind.”

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who had just purchased the band a month before the Folks company exited, had the quilt photo enlarged and hung in his office.

The photographs have become a bit of popular Philadelphia culture, spreading everywhere lately as Wednesday marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris. There’s a craft business of stickers, t-shirts and posters that can be bought from quirky boutiques or discovered in restaurants and bars across the city. The Center Youngster Clubhouse, a neighborhood restaurant, has two framed photographs of Diana and her Eagles jacket inside.

“I love looking at his face every morning,” barista Bean Leggs said. “I think a little part of her would probably really like the Eagles.”

Who knows? She never went to the Eagles when they played the 1989 and 1991 video games at Wembley Stadium in London.

But a big part of Princess Diana really loved her Eagles jacket.


Related Press author Danica Kirka in London contributed to this report.