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How Meghan Markle echoed Diana’s Met Gala look on recent trip to New York

Meghan Markle has paid tribute to the late Princess Diana in many ways since marrying Prince Harry in 2018.

Whether wearing sentimental jewelry from Diana’s personal collection or recreating iconic outfits, Meghan referenced and replicated the unforgettable style of the most fashion-forward princess of the 20th century.

On the occasion of the Met Gala 2022, organized on Monday and celebrating American fashion, Newsweek watch how Meghan echoed Diana’s memorable 1996 gala appearance during a recent visit to New York.

During a trip to Manhattan last year, Meghan Markle wore an accessory closely linked to Princess Diana and her dazzling appearance at the 1996 Met Gala. Diana (L) pictured at the Met Gala, December 9, 1996. And Meghan (R) Pictured at Global Citizen Live, NYC, September 25, 2021.
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images/Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen


Princess Diana has only made one appearance at the Met Gala despite it becoming one of the most famous in the event’s history.

In 1996, the year of her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana went through a period of transformation that extended to her personal appearance. Freed from the constraints of being married to a future king, Diana moved away from royal convention and embraced a global perspective unrelated to the UK.

This was as true of the princess’ fashion as it was of her humanitarian work.

When she was invited to the 1996 Met Gala by her longtime friend and Harper’s Bazaar editor Liz Tilberis, the princess agreed to travel to New York for the event which was then held in December .

The exhibition marked by the gala in 1996 was devoted to the work of couturier Christian Dior. “Enfant Terrible” of the French fashion scene at the time was Dior’s new creative mastermind, John Galliano. It is Galliano who will design the dress that Diana will wear at night.

Princess Diana Met Gala 1996 Lady Dior
Princess Diana attended the 1996 Met Gala dedicated to Christian Dior wearing a blue silk dress with one of her favorite Dior handbags. December 9, 1996.
Stéphane Cardinale/Sygma via Getty Image/Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

When the princess arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on December 9, 1996, she sent shockwaves through the fashion world when she appeared in a lingerie-inspired blue silk gown with black lace detailing. An almost scandalous look for a member of the royal family, divorced or not.

Diana was clutching a handbag that was presented to her in 1995 and has since become one of the most famous fashion accessories in Christian Dior history.

It was this bag that Meghan poignantly echoed two decades after the Princess’s tragic death, during a visit to New York in 2021.


What we know today as the classic Lady Dior handbag made its debut in fashionable society in 1995. The design of the bag was simple yet elegant, featuring an open top-handle bag in black quilted leather with gold hardware.

It was first known as “Chouchou” (“pet” in English) presumably for its small size and was adorned on the handle with four gold charms in letters that spelled “DIOR”. The charms were a dedication to Christian Dior who was very superstitious and is said to have kept lucky charms, attended spiritual readings and believed in premonitions.

In 1995, the ‘Chouchou’ made its very special debut as it was presented to Princess Diana before its official release by then-President Jacques Chirac’s wife during a visit by Diana to Paris.

Princess Diana Lady Dior handbag
Princess Diana used the handbag given to her in 1995 by the wife of French President Jacques Chirac so often that she ordered it in other colours. Pictured (L) with a black leather variant in Liverpool, November 7, 1995. And (R) in Argentina, November 24, 1995.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

The Princess has come to wear the bag many times, forming a modern bridge between her favorite handbags and the more traditional top handle bags used by royal women like Queen Elizabeth II.

Eventually, the princess acquired multiples of the bag in different textiles and colors, including a patterned variation in black crocodile leather. The house of Dior tells the story of Diana asking for a blue version “to match her eyes”.

Soon the bag became so synonymous with the princess that Dior renamed it from ‘Choucho’ to Lady Dior, a tribute to the princess who many still referred to as ‘Lady Di’ after her maiden name of Lady Diana Spencer. .


In a move reminiscent of Diana’s appearance in New York marking a new period in her life away from the royal family, Meghan appeared at the Global Citizen Live event in Manhattan in September 2021 carrying an elegant Dior handbag.

The year 2021 marked an important new period in the lives of Meghan and Harry as they forged a public role for themselves after stepping down as full-time working members of the Royal Family in 2020 and the maintenance of the couple with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021.

Appearing at the Global Citizen Live event to advocate for vaccine equality during the coronavirus pandemic, Meghan’s Dior bag was a touching reminder of her humanitarian and social justice-focused mother-in-law.

Meghan Markle NYC Lady Di-Lite
Meghan Markle wore a variation of the Lady Dior bag named Lady D-Lite for an appearance in New York at the Global Citizen Live event on September 25, 2021.
Gotham/GC Images/Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Meghan’s variation on the classic Diana bag was designed as a “sister bag” to the Lady Dior and differs in that it is fully embroidered and features a branded belt around the middle.

Dior’s official Twitter account tagged the model in a post that read, “Dressed in the iconic #LadyDior’s sister bag that bears the name of Princess Diana, Meghan Markle is the epitome of Dior elegance, while ‘she’s stepping out with her #LadyDLitebag at @GlblCtzn Live in NYC. #StarsinDior #GlobalCitizenLive”

Meghan’s ‘Lady D-Lite’ bag is personalized with the initials ‘DSSOS’, believed to represent her title as Duchess of Sussex.

The comparisons between the Duchess and Diana didn’t stop at their penchant for handbags. The Henry Street Settlement charity in Manhattan highlighted the similarities between the causes championed by the Princess and her son and daughter-in-law.

It read: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in town to raise awareness about mental health. It reminds us of Princess Diana’s momentous visit to Henry Street in 1989! #MeghanAndHarry.”

Diana’s appearance at the 1996 Met Gala with her favorite Dior handbag is remembered as one of the most iconic moments in the event’s history. Sadly, the princess’ first gala was to be her last as she died eight months later in a car accident in Paris.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Diana’s tragic death at the age of 36, but her continued fashion relevance as well as the touching tributes paid to her by her daughters-in-law keep the princess’ legacy alive and accessible. to new generations.

For more royal news and commentary, check out Newsweek’s The Royal Report podcast:


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