Iconic Photo of Princess Diana in a See-Through Skirt Taught Her an Important Lesson About Being Famous

There are so many iconic photos of Princess Diana it’s difficult to keep track of them all. But one of the most well-known snapshots is from a time before Diana became the most famous woman in the world — and it taught her an important lesson about the life she was about to lead.

The photo in question shows a very intimate side of Diana that she probably didn’t want to show, especially since she was on the road to becoming Prince Charles’s wife. Later, the photographer who captured the image shared why he decided to publish the picture that very well may have embarrassed the young Diana.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Everyone wanted to know who Prince Charles’s new girlfriend was

Even though he was awkward and picked on in school, Prince Charles eventually became the world’s most eligible bachelor thanks in part to his father’s uncle and some clever re-branding as a sexy playboy. By 1980, the Prince of Wales had dated several women, including Diana’s older sister, but still hadn’t found the right one yet.

But Charles had gone on record saying that 30 was the ideal age to get married plus public pressure for the prince to settle down was becoming palpable. As Sun photographer Arthur Edwards explained in 2017, his editor insisted he needed to seek out Charles’s most recent mystery woman and take her picture.

The photographer captured Diana’s photo before he knew who she was

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Bill Rowntree/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Edwards got a tip that Charles’s latest love interest was named Diana and that she would be at Cowdray Park, Midhurst, West Sussex, on July 29, 1980, Express reported. He didn’t know what she looked like but figured out who she was based on her initial necklace.

“Looking around, I saw a pretty girl sitting among the crowds wearing a necklace with the letter D on it,” he explained. Later, Edwards said he filed the photo in a drawer because she looked far too young to be someone Charles might consider as a bride.

But when he caught Charles and Diana on a secret fishing date soon after, the photographer realized how serious the couple was, and followed Diana to where she worked.

Diana learned the hard way not to wear transparent clothing

Edwards caught up with Diana at her workplace in a London nursery where she agreed to snap a photo of herself holding two of her charges. The only problem? Her long skirt was see-through and anyone looking at the photo could clearly see the entire length of her legs because of how the photograph was taken, according to Today.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Steve Back/Getty Images

Newspapers ran the photo which allegedly embarrassed Diana greatly, with her saying, “I don’t want to be known as the girlfriend who had no petticoat.”

Edwards said, “Everybody doesn’t believe this but it is the gospel truth — halfway through, the sun came out and revealed those beautiful legs.”

The photographer is glad the photo exists

He continued, admitting he doesn’t regret the photo at all. “In many ways, I’m glad the sun came out because it made it an iconic picture,” he continued. Based on that event, Diana learned to never wear potentially see-through clothing ever again. This lesson came in handy over the next couple of decades.

Edwards and Diana would work together frequently over the coming years and developed a close relationship.