It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 17 years since the beautiful and elegant Princess Diana of Wales passed away. But in the time since her unfortunate, tragic, and much-too-early death, the princess has continued to live on in our hearts and minds, thanks to everything from Hollywood films — including the most recent and much-buzzed-about Diana , featuring Naomi Watts — to her two handsome sons (Prince Harry, please be mine). Oh, and then there’s her huggable, loveable, squeezable grandson Prince George, of course.
But aside from insanely good-looking offspring and her reputation for amazing charitable work, there’s another thing we’re sure to remember about Princess Di for years and decades to come: The lady had a fabulous sense of style. Much like her obsessed-over daughter-in-law Kate Middleton, Diana knew her way around a fantastic outfit, whether it was a simple daytime dress, one of those impeccably tailored coats, and yes, a drop dead gorgeous gown.
So to celebrate what would be the beloved princess’s 53rd birthday, why don’t we all take a moment to look back at nine of Diana’s most gorgeous gowns to ever hit the royal scene — gowns that continue to provide all the fashion inspiration we could ask for, both now and forever.
1. Her head-to-toe purple ensemble
Not satisfied with just one purple piece, the princess drenched herself in this lovely royal hue from her gown to her shoes, proving that monochromatic outfits can truly be magnificent.
2. This ethereal draped number
Can't you just see one of today's top stars traipsing down the Cannes Film Festival red carpet in this romantic and elegant ensemble?
3. Her off-the-shoulder ball gown
The absolute perfect pick for a dance with (then-hunky) John Travolta.
4. This beaded, strapless beauty
A white, all-over beaded, and strapless gown will never go out of style — especially when paired with such a statement-making necklace.
5. Her figure-flattering sequined gown
Just look at her body in this dress and tell me you're not green with envy.
6. This SO '80s black-and-white number
Sure, you might want to kick those shoulder pads to the curb, but a color-blocked black-and-white dress (with stripes to boot) is guaranteed to be timeless.
7. Her body-skimming blue dress
Can you imagine a more perfect fit?
8. This pleated silver stunner
I can definitely see where Prada got its inspiration for Lupita Nyong'o's princess-perfect, pleated Oscars gown.