Princess Diana’s revenge dress after Charles ‘left to woo Camilla’ – ‘spoke volumes’

Analysis of Google search data revealed online searches for ‘revenge dress’ exploded by 400 percent on November 6, the day after Elizabeth Debicki, who is playing Princess Diana in season five of The Crown, was photographed wearing the famous gown on set. A new finding by creative resource Design Bundles revealed online interest in ‘revenge dress’ skyrocketed to five times the average volume in one day. This was an unprecedented spike in interest for people Googling information about Princess Diana’s revenge dress, according to Google Trends analysis. 

The ‘revenge dress’ – a £900, form-fitting black silk cocktail dress by Christina Stambolian – was showcased by Princess Diana on the day Prince Charles confessed his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles on television to the world.

Princess Diana accessorised the outfit with a multi-row pearl necklace crafted from a brooch given to her by the Queen Mother on her wedding day, sheer tights and black heels.

The data also showed searches for ‘little black dress’ saw a jump of 85 percent on November 5, the day Elizabeth Debicki wore the iconic revenge gown on the set of The Crown.

A spokesperson for Design Bundles commented on the findings exclusively for

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They said: “Princess Diana’s ‘revenge dress’ was the most powerful outfit she ever wore and is arguably even more iconic than her wedding dress.

“It speaks of a woman transformed and embracing her identity after years of public scrutiny and private misery.

“Every inch of this beautifully sculpted gown – a Christina Stambolian black cocktail piece, with a daring neckline and chiffon train – has been analysed for decades as the outfit Diana wore to knock Prince Charles off the front pages, just as he was about to broadcast his infidelity on television to the world.

“However, while this worked remarkably well – The Sun ran a photo of Diana in the ‘revenge dress’, with the headline: ‘The Thrilla he Left to woo Camilla’, this dress is about so much more than that.


“Princess Diana loved the dress but had resisted wearing it for three years because she was concerned it was too risqué for her position as the wife of Prince Charles within the Royal Family.

“Now, on the night of her husband’s revelation of infidelity, she wore the dress to celebrate who she really was, and what she really liked.

“Not as the Princess of Wales, or Prince Charles’s wife, or the mother of the future king or whatever label the world attached to her, but just as herself.

“Princess Diana had the extraordinary gift of being able to communicate meaning through fashion, a legacy we see in both of her daughters in law – Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.

“The ‘revenge dress’ spoke volumes.

“It allowed Diana to control the narrative about Prince Charles’s affair right from the start by ensuring that the media saw her as someone powerful, in control of her style and identity, which she absolutely was.

“The fact that Diana accessorised the dress with a multi-string pearl necklace crafted from a brooch given to her as a wedding gift by the Queen Mother is very telling.

“Diana took the brooch – an immense sapphire studded with diamonds, given to mark a marriage which was now unravelling before the cameras – and restyled it into a piece she really loved and could enjoy.

“There’s always this temptation – in society, popular culture and media – to see Diana as this terrified young girl who just couldn’t cope.

“But this perception of her does her memory a huge disservice.

“It misses out huge aspects of her character.

“In later life, she just grew more and more vivid, strong and dominant, championing the causes she cared about, and (as much as she respected the crown as the mother of William, the future King) refusing to allow royal tradition to dictate her identity.”