The Most Famous and Iconic Princess Diana Christmas Photos

Thanks to acclaimed TV shows and films like The Crown and Spencer, all things Princess Diana have been in the spotlight lately, including many of her famous and iconic Christmas photos.

Always at the height of fashion, the “people’s Princess” set off holiday fashion trends that many women sought to emulate. Here are seven iconic photos that launched many classic holiday ensembles in the ’80s and ’90s. Now that shoulder pads are back in trend, some of these gorgeous dresses, coats, and accessories apply today. too.

Princess Diana often wore black dresses in Christmas photos

British royals Sarah, Duchess of York, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Princess Diana, Peter Phillips, Zara Phillips, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince William, and Princess Margaret attend the Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate on December 25, 1988
(L-R) Sarah, Duchess of York, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Princess Diana, Peter Phillips, Zara Phillips, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince William, and Princess Margaret after the Christmas Day service on December 25, 1988 | Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

In 1988, the princess wore a black and blue dress that perfectly suits both the princess and the time period. Wide lapels, shoulder pads, and a sweeping hat complete the over-the-top ’80s holiday look. It’s worth noting that the other royals chose dark colors as well. Princess Margaret wore a subdued navy blue jacket and a red-and-blue print dress. Queen Elizabeth stands out in a pastel pink outfit — quite a contrast against her loved ones’ blacks and blues.

Princess Diana’s red coat and black dress in this 1993 Christmas photo

British royals Diana, Princess of Wales wears a red coat with a black hat; Zara Phillips; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Prince Edward; Peter Phillips; and Prince Charles attend the Christmas Day church service at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, England on December 25, 1993
(L-R) Princess Diana wears a red coat with a black hat alongside Prince Harry and Prince Charles at the 1993 Christmas Day church service at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, England | Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

The 1988 black Christmas dress was not the last time Diana wore this formal shade. In 1993, one year after her separation from Prince Charles, Princess Diana wore an iconic red coat, black hat, and black dress. The hat came complete with a veil. Harper’s Bazaar considers this famous outfit a classic Diana fashion. In the movie Spencer, Kristen Stewart channels the look in a slightly updated form.

Her fashion sense and sense of duty are seen in this Christmas photo

Princess Diana leaves St. George's Chapel with Lady Rose Windsor, Lord Frederick Windsor, Peter and Zara Phillips, and Prince William on Christmas Day, 1987
Princess Diana with Lady Rose Windsor, Lord Frederick Windsor, Peter and Zara Phillips, and Prince William on Christmas Day, 1987 | Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

In 1987, Princess Diana’s Christmas attire was a bit more traditional than in later years. Here, she wears black gloves and boots while carrying an oversized black clutch. A high waistband, also in black, accentuates her pale yellow coat. The yellow coat’s black lines are a modern take on traditional tartan prints. Royals often wear tartan patterns during the holidays, but Diana made the pattern her own.

Fashion aside, this photo captures Princess Diana’s love of children. The family’s kids surround the former kindergarten teacher who appears to be giving Lady Rose Windsor behind her a compliment. The royal family was photographed leaving St. George’s Chapel at Windsor. It was the last Christmas spent at St. George’s. Starting in 1988, the family has observed Christmas at Sandringham’s St. Mary Magdalene. 

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and Princess Diana are a chic pair

Peter Phillips, Prince Harry, Princess Diana, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Sarah, Duchess of York, and Prince William attend the Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene Church on December 25, 1990
(L-R) British royals Peter Phillips, Prince Harry, Princess Diana, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Sarah, Duchess of York, and Prince William on Christmas Day in 1990 | Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Christmas day in 1990 must have been a cold one. Why else would Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, have worn a fur-trimmed hat? The Duchess may have caught your eye, but this iconic Christmas photo captures the loving bond between Princess Diana and her youngest son, Harry. Her dramatic hat and striped accents add a bit of flair to the traditional holiday ensemble.

Princess Diana’s first Christmas as a royal

Princess Diana attends a service at S. George's Chapel, on Christmas day, December 25, 1981 in a blue overcoat with a matching pillbox hat
Princess Diana at the Christmas day service on December 25, 1981 | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

This iconic image captures Princess Diana’s first Christmas as a member of the royal family as she appears like a shy young woman. She looks a bit nervous and quite innocent. The pillbox hat, soft blue shades, and quaint embroidery contrast her later cosmopolitan style and glamour. Somehow, though, Princess Diana still seems to make bohemian fashion elegant.

A brave Princess Diana appears in public right after her separation announcement

Flanked by two Santas, Princess Diana, patron of Headway, the National Head Injuries Association, attends a lunch on December 10, 1992 in London
Princess Diana attends a London event on December 10, 1992, the day after she announced her separation from Prince Charles | THIERRY SALIOU/AFP via Getty Images

This iconic image was taken the day after Princess Diana and Prince Charles officially separated. Here, you can see Diana pursuing her true love: not Santa Claus, or shoulder pads, but philanthropy. This photo was taken at a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in London. At the time, she was a patron of the National Head Injuries Association. The two Santas looked delighted to greet her at the event.

Princess Diana attends a festive public event in November 1981

Princess Diana turns on the Christmas lights on Regent Street on November 19, 1981
The Christmas lights illuminate on Regent Street as Princess Diana address the public on November 19, 1981 | Bunny Atkins/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
Related

Prince Harry Won’t Touch This Rumor in His Memoir — It ‘Hurt Diana Deeply’

A newly-married Princess Diana speaks to the crowds on Regent Street after she flipped on the holiday lights. This 1981 photo captures her youth and willingness to perform public services in her new royal role. At the time, she had no idea what future holidays would be like for her. The hopeful innocence she radiates in this photo is truly iconic.