It was the sweater coveted around the world: A 19-year-old Princess Diana, newly engaged to Prince Charles, appeared at a polo match in a bright red sweater covered in a white sheep print with a single black sheep hidden amongst the rest. She wore it over a white ruffled blouse at the time with her hands shoved into her back pockets and looking a bit timid and shy.
Princess Diana Had Not 1, But 2 Iconic Sheep Sweaters, According to ‘HRH’ Author Elizabeth Holmes
Flash forward to two years later when a much-more-confident Diana appeared at yet another one of Charles’s polo matches wearing—wait for it—the same red sweater with that allover sheep print. But, as Elizabeth Holmes, author of the new book HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style, sleuths out, there was a blink-and-you-might-miss-it detail: At the second polo match, the black sheep was facing the other way.
On a recent episode of the Royally Obsessed podcast, Holmes elaborates on her discovery: “That black sheep sweater is such an iconic piece from her wardrobe... I was looking at the images and thought, ‘Wait a second, is that sheep facing a different way? Did Diana have a second sweater?’”
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Sally Muir, co-founder of Warm & Wonderful, the ‘80s knitwear brand behind the sweater, provided the answer. Diana damaged the first one.
“It was sent back to us with a very charming letter from her secretary, saying how much she loved it and could we mend it,” Muir explains. “We decided that rather than cobble together the damaged one, we’d make her a perfect new one, which is what we did. Hence, the two.”
As for how the Princess of Wales damaged the original sweater, Muir isn’t sure, but adds: “We always imagined her enormous engagement ring caught in the threads.” Still, one thing is clear—Diana loved this look a great deal.
Shout-out to Elizabeth Holmes for her eagle eye and terrific new book. (And, pssst...if you want your own Diana sheep sweater, a royal reminder that Rowing Blazers just brought it back!)
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