Freeze Frame: How Princess Diana saved John Travolta’s career with a 15-minute dance

The year was 1985, and two of the biggest names in the world were twirling around on the dance floor, sparking headlines that spanned decades.

Dear Royal Diana Princess and the heart of Hollywood john Travolta is the most opportunistic among the dance partners.

The Princess of Wales was invited by former US President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy to a party at the White House, which is the most prestigious invitation in the history of celebrities.

Also in attendance was Travolta, then 31 years old, who was already well known for her roles in Saturday night fever and Grease.

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Princess Diana was photographed dancing with John Travolta at a White House party in 1985. (Tim Graham via Getty Images)

The couple may never cross the path of saving for this coveted annual party. It took place on November 9, 1985, years before Diana’s relationship with-Prince Charles openly will fall into marital turmoil.

Diana arrived in a floor-length black Victor Edelstein dress and looked like a fairy tale princess.

She may have attended the party with her real-life Prince Charming, but by the end of the night, all eyes were on Diana and Travolta.

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At about 10 p.m. that night, First Lady Nancy Reagan tapped Travolta on the shoulder and asked him a question.

“‘Princess, her fantasy is to dance with you. Would you like to dance with her tonight?” ” Pulp Fiction the star is recalled in the 2021 documentary In their own words: Diana, Princess of Wales. “And I said, ‘Of course.'”

The momentous moment that took place at midnight was captured by photographers for the world to see.

A famous star Diana and Travolta danced along Saturday night fever The soundtrack leaves the audience in awe.

“The whole room was clean,” Travolta told the documentary. “We danced for 15 minutes.”

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in Grease
Travolta was urged by Nancy Reagan to dance with Diana. (Getty)

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It was truly a comic book moment for the princess and the actor, and it soon became an iconic moment that Diana fans will look back on wistfully.

She never plays by royal rules and her decision to dance with a celebrity at an all-star American party has been linked to a scandal.

According to Pete Souza, who was a White House photographer for the Reagans, Diana “ignored” her husband Charles and didn’t dance with him all that night.

“The whole room was clean. We danced for 15 minutes.”

“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,” Souza wrote on Instagram. in 2021.

“One firm memory I have is that Diana was visibly blushing as she danced with Neil. In the photo you can see her cheeks are a bit red but in that moment it was even more obvious. “

Various reports at the time and in the 36 years since have said that future King Charles III was furious with his wife for dancing with Travolta.

The dance incident is said to have caused tension between Charles and Diana. (Tim Graham Gallery via Get)

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The former Prince of Wales is said to have been “boiled” following the event and his words in an interview with a journalist seemed to be dripping with sarcasm.

When asked by a reporter if his wife would like to dance with Travolta, he replied: “Well, I’m not a glove puppet so I can’t answer for that, I’m afraid.

“But I think you enjoyed it, didn’t you? Be an idiot if she doesn’t like dancing with John Travolta, right?”

Royal journalists at the time wondered if Charles was “jealous” of the star power Diana took to every room she entered.

“I just think he couldn’t quite deal with the phenomenon that was created, which he helped create,” former ITN News editor Stewart Purvis said on the documentary. Diana’s Decade.

Some reports also accused Charles of “confronting” Diana after the White House party, accusing her of making him look stupid.

“He completely lost it and angrily accused Diana of making him look stupid because she had peeked at the show with John. He could hardly forget it either, as it had already become site news. most,” said a source Lifestyle.

john Travolta
Travolta fondly recalls the dance and even says it helped his career. (AAP)

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But for Travolta, his 15 minutes of dancing with Diana was the saving grace he needed for his career.

The actor told The Daily Mirror in 2007, the media frenzy surrounding his dancing on the dance floor helped him attract more roles.

“It was an incredible moment because I was drowning in my career and no one cared about me,” he admitted.

“Suddenly, I was the only thing that mattered in America to Princess Diana. I was like, ‘Wow! I’m important to someone.”

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Actresses who have played Princess Diana, television, film, Naomi Watts, Emma Corrin, Kristen Stewart

Actresses who played Princess Diana on screen


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