Princess Diana set the bar high in whatever arena she entered. She was an avid humanitarian, a beloved royal member by the public, and, of course, the ultimate style queen. The late royal’s fashion choices — biker shorts, anyone? — showed that she was way ahead of her time. As expected, when it came to her accessories, especially, Princess Diana’s handbag collection was top notch. Her assortment ranged from gala-appropriate clutches to dainty shoulder bags to structured, ladylike totes.
Her everyday purse rotation was likely larger than the average person’s, but there were several styles that stood out the most — and that stood the test of time. (A fun fact: Several designers even named bags in her honor after she carried them in public.) One of the styles she carried the most was a structured bag, usually with a long strap so that she can wear it on one shoulder. The royal gravitated towards neutral tones (think black, cream, and ivory), which meant her purses paired seamlessly with her pastel skirtsuit sets or red carpet-worthy dresses. The shape and color of her bags, overall, gave off a timeless vibe. So much so that her favorites remain in fashion to this day.
Ahead, see a few of Princess Di’s go-to handbags and then shop them too.
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Lady Dior Bag
When a fashion house names a bag after you, you know you’re a style maven. Dior’s iconic Lady Bag was originally called Chouchou, but was later renamed in 1996 to the “Lady Dior” bag after Princess Diana carried it several times in a row. The first time she was spotted with the accessory was back in 1995 while she was in Paris. It seemed she preferred the style in a classic black hue and carried it when she conducted royal business. Today, the bag is beloved by stars like Blackpink’s Jisoo and Florence Pugh.
Lana Marks Princess Diana Bag
In 1997, Diana asked handbag designer Lana Marks, who was a personal friend of the princess, to commission a top handle bag. The result was a style dubbed the “Princess Diana” handbag, which ended up as one of her go-to accessories. The brand’s coveted, luxe styles are now available to shop in a variety of prints and fun colors.
Beige Prada Tote
On a number of occasions, Princess Di was also spotted with functional tote bags. While she certainly loved her roomy Tod’s D bag, there was another style that wasn’t as widely covered by the media: her beige Prada tote with chainlink shoulder straps. The style is reminiscent of Chanel’s CC tote, or Saint Laurent’s Niki shopper, and remains a timeless classic to this day. Prada is no longer making Princes Di’s exact bag, but you may be able to find one via consignment shops.
A Satin Clutch
One of Princess Diana’s most brilliant styling tricks was the way she used her clutches. As she exited cars, the royal would bring the accessory up to her chest to avoid a potential wardrobe malfunction. She dubbed this the “cleavage bag” — a phrase you will never forget once you hear it. The royal had a particular affinity for satin clutches, many of which were custom-made by Anya Hindmarch in a variety of colors ranging from scarlet red to dark blue. The London-base brand continues to make strap-free, splurge-worthy styles today.
Salvatore Ferragamo Lady Di Bag
The princess often sported Salvator Ferragamo’s chain strap bag (with its iconic gold-hooped Gancio clasp), which led the brand to christen it as “the Lady Di bag.” Vogue’s Sarah Mower once calculated that Princess Di owned over 20 Salvator Ferragamo Lady Dis. (This was basically the ‘90s equivalent to having a Birkin bag collection today.)
Souleiado ADIANA Pompadour Bag
Although Princess Diana owned many luxe designer bags, she didn’t shy away from investing in more affordable options either. For instance, she was repeatedly spotted carrying her roomy ADIANA Pompadour tote from Souleiado to events like Princes Charles’ polo matches. The rose print, quilted bag gives off nostalgic cottagecore vibes and the brand has made its Provençal-inspired designs since the late 16th century. The royal’s exact tote is still available to shop today.