The 1985 state dinner for Princess Diana and Prince Charles at the White House turned into a pop culture moment. The dinner with the Reagans famously turned into a dance party, with everyone asking for Diana’s hand on the dance floor. “The dinner for the Prince & Diana was a great success,” former President Ronald Reagan journaled after the night, per the Reagan Library. “It had not a hint of “State Dinner” flavor. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. Ted G. had decorated the W.H. more beautifully than we’ve ever seen it. Leontyne Price sang wonderfully & then everyone danced like at a Junior Prom.”
And dance they did. The library documented that Diana danced with President Reagan, Tom Selleck, and most famously, John Travolta. The latter remembers the evening like it was yesterday, telling Esquire Mexico, “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 said. “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.”
But it was another leading man that literally had Diana blushing on the dance floor, according to White House photographer Pete Souza’s Instagram.
So who was the lucky guy?
White House photographer Pete Souza posted an image of Princess Diana and Neil Diamond dancing at the 1985 state dinner hosted by then President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan.
“Accompanied by the military band, Neil sang a few of his songs. I distinctly remember him singing, ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.’ My recollection is — and I can’t be sure this is correct — is that he continued singing this song as he danced with her,” Souza captioned the post. He added, “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.”
Souza added in another Instagram caption accompanying the image of Di and John Travolta dancing, “Diana also danced that night with President Reagan, Tom Selleck, Clint Eastwood and Neil Diamond. She did not dance with Prince Charles.” Oof. Maybe Charles should have crooned to her a little more.
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