Thank God for silk velvet. Because Princess Diana once wore a gown made of the fabric, the tiny handprints of two young princes may have been preserved in her dress for the last 30 years.
Princess Diana commissioned a bottle green silk velvet gown from Victor Edelstein in 1985, according to the Daily Mail. She wore it at private palace events, so it was never seen in public until it was auctioned off to a private bidder in 1997, “when Diana decided to sell some of her outfits for charity,” according to the Daily Mail. Lucky for us, it’s now part of an exhibition of 25 of Diana’s most famous gowns at Kensington Palace.
The Daily Mail revealed photos of the dress and what appear to be a tiny set of handprints — what historians believe to be Prince William and Prince Harry‘s tiny handprints on the back left side of the bunched skirt, preserved in the fabric for the three decades since she first wore it.
“How incredible to think these teeny, tiny prints from the princes’ little hands could have lasted all this time,” Eleri Lynn, curator of historic dress at Historic Royal Palaces, the charity responsible for the upkeep of some important royal residences, told the Daily Mail.
According to experts, both the heat and moisture from messy little boy hands can make indentations in a dress of this sort, which would survive the test of time.
We love the fact that there is living proof that the princess wasn’t a stuffy mother (which we already assumed), but a completely hands-on mom devoted to her sons. So devoted she let them close enough to grab at a commissioned gown as beautiful as this one, which featured a gathered detailing on the back of the skirt and was floor length with long sleeves. Princess Diana was so laid back, she didn’t even rush to undo whatever her sons’ little paws could have done to the gown.
If you need further proof that she put her children first, according to the Guardian, there is a dress and hat set on display at the exhibit, but Diana never ordered the hat because, she said, “You can’t cuddle a child if you are wearing a hat.”
Kate Middleton reminds us a lot of Diana in this way; she’d happily dress in jeans for a day of play with her children, instead of spending it in a gown. Not something all princesses would do.