The Real Story Behind the Lady Dior Handbag and Princess Diana

The Lady Dior Handbag. One of the most popular handbag designs of all time, due in no small part to it being known as Princess Diana’s favourite bag. While there are lots of rumours about the relationship between Diana and the bag, little is known about the true story. Mainly, it wasn’t created for Diana (as widely believed), but rather re-named after her. 

First launched in 1994, with no official name, it was then gifted to Diana in 1995 by France’s First Lady, Bernadette Chirac. The handbag was immediately loved by the Princess, who promptly ordered it in every available size and colour. 

In fact, it’s difficult to find a photograph of Diana (at public or private events), where she isn’t sporting a version of the Lady Bag. Within a few weeks of each other Diana was photographed by international press with the bag in her arms at royal events and visits. First during a visit to a Birmingham children’s home, and them during a state visit to Argentina. 

The bag quickly became associated with one of the world’s most famous, and loved, women. In 1996, with her blessing, Dior renamed the bag the ‘Lady Dior’ as homage to the Princess. With the name remaining part of the iconic bag today. 

The bag itself also has a rich design history. The stitching pattern is said to have been inspired by the Napoleon III chairs used by Christian Dior to welcome people at his show in 1947. The external charm pendant letters spelling out DIOR, are intended to act as a viable signature. 

Said by Dior himself; ‘real luxury requires the best materials and the best craftsmanship’. Which is entirely true of the Lady Dior. Each is made and shaped entirely by hand, from the cutting out of the leather pattern, to the assembly and even the 4 charm letters. In fact, 140 distinct and separate pieces are needed to create a Lady Dior!

It’s not hard to understand why the Lady Dior is one of the most popular and reverried handbags available today. Or why it was loved so much by Princess Diana. 

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