Style

All Of Princess Diana’s Favourite Designer Handbags

In light of Gucci bringing back Diana’s bamboo tote, we look at the royal’s go-to designer bags.

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As one of the most photographed women in the world, Princess Diana’s fashion influence still holds strong. Sure, some of her outfits are gloriously ’90s, but the handbags stand the test of time. After separating from the royal family, Diana experimented more with her style as a sign of freedom.

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The royal family usually favour British-made clothing and accessories, so it wasn’t until after Diana’s divorce from Prince Charles — the “Revenge Look” years — that she was really able to wear handbags from European designers, and even ended up having a number of styles named after her.

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Chanel

Diana wore Chanel to honour her hosts on a visit to France, and was often pictured with the brand’s iconic bags. Post-divorce, there was a rumour that she refused to wear Chanel as the interlocking C logo reminded her of Charles and Camilla, but a trip to New York in 1997 proved otherwise.

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Gucci

Another classic, ladylike piece that caught Diana’s attention was Gucci’s structured, bamboo handle bag, now known as — you guessed it — the Diana bag. Proving the allure of Diana’s style didn’t end in the ’90s, Gucci has reissued the Diana bag in three sizes and seven colourways.

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Tod’s

As a busy mum of two, Diana may have gravitated towards the Tod’s tote bag for its Mary Poppins-esque ability to carry anything and everything. From workouts at the gym to royal tours, the sleek and spacious tanned leather tote was quickly added to her go-to rotation of designer bags.

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Lana Marks

In 1997 Princess Diana commissioned her designer friend Lana Marks to create her a top handle, ladylike bag (similar to Queen Elizabeth’s Launer bag). The Princess Diana Handbag style is still available today, with limited edition versions setting you back over £10,000.

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Salvatore Ferragamo

According to Vogue, Diana loved Salvatore Ferragamo’s chain-strap style crossbody bag so much that she owned 20 versions in different colours. The style, recognisable by the brand’s hooped gold Gancio fastening, later became known as the Lady Di in her honour.

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Dior

The classic quilted bag became a favourite of Diana’s after she was gifted one by the French First Lady Bernadette Chirac in 1995. Originally called the Chouchou bag, it became the Lady Dior due to her patronage. The perfect addition to her sleek wardrobe, it defined Diana’s post-divorce style.

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Versace

In the 1990s Diana moved in different circles, mixing with fashion designers such as Gianni Versace. “It is a moment in her life, when she’s found herself — the way she wants to live,” he told Vanity Fair in 1997. Her glossy Versace bags represented her post-divorce look: sleek and elegant.

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Anya Hindmarch

Diana’s most unique accessory? The “cleavage bag”. As she began wearing lower necklines, she collaborated with designer Anya Hindmarch, who created small clutches that Diana could use to hide her chest as she got out of cars in front of the prying paparazzi.

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Hindmarch confirmed the styling trick in an interview with the Telegraph. “[Diana] would come and see us with no bodyguards or any fuss,” she said. “We designed what she called her ‘cleavage bags’, little satin clutches which she would cover her cleavage with when she stepped out of cars.” Genius.

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