The Real Story Behind Princess Diana’s Philadelphia Eagles Jacket

diana philadelphia eagles jacket universal
Julian Parker/Getty Images

Go Philadelphia Eagles! Full disclosure: I’m not really football-savvy, but I do know that there’s a major playoff game this weekend that pits the San Francisco 49ers against the Eagles—and that there’s a Super Bowl on the line. (No pressure.)

Still, my interest in the Eagles floats to the team’s royal connection. Namely, how Princess Diana came to be in possession of Eagles merch in the form of a bomber jacket, which happened to become one of her most iconic looks.

Together with Roberta Fiorito, my co-host of the Royally Obsessed podcast, we flash back to share the jacket’s origin story and how it made its way to Diana in this week’s episode of the show.

diana eagles jacket 1991
Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Fun fact: Even though Diana wore the jacket on numerous occasions, kicking off in January 1991 when she was pictured with it on while dropping Prince Harry off at the Wetherby School in London, she’d actually never been to a Philadelphia Eagles game (home or away).

Her connection to the team came when she attended the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco in 1982. There, she met Jack Edelstein, who happened to be the statistician for the team—and a friend of Grace’s brother.

According to an interview published in the Philadelphia Inquirer after Diana’s death in 1997, Edelstein revealed that he and Diana got to talking at the funeral and that he found her to be a “a very warm person, very sweet, very kind.”

When the conversation switched to sports, Diana ultimately asked Edelstein about the Eagles’ team colors and he replied that they were green and silver. Diana said, per Edelstein, “Those are my favorite colors.”

When Edelstein flew home to the United States, he told the team’s owner at the time, Leonard Tose, about Diana’s interest and, together, the pair assembled what was basically a swag bag of merch for the Princess of Wales—complete with a custom Eagles bomber jacket. (Per Edelstein, Tose “never went second class.”)

diana eagles jacket 1994
Julian Parker/Getty Images

The rest is royal history—after penning a thank you to Edelstein, Diana proceeded to be pictured in the now-iconic bomber jacket more than once. She wore it to school drop-off, but also to an outing at Alton Towers Theme Park with Princes William and Harry. A photo from that family occasion wound up on the cover of People magazine in 1994—a boon for Eagles fans as their team spirit was reflected all over the world thanks to Diana.

As for where the jacket is now? No one really knows. The assumption is that it’s in the possession of either William or Harry—likely a nostalgic piece of their late mother’s wardrobe that they’ll hold onto forever.

For more about the royals, listen to the Royally Obsessed podcast with co-hosts Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito. Subscribe now or follow us on Instagram @royallyobsessedpodcast.

Which British Royal’s Style Most Closely Resembles That of Princess Diana? Author of ‘The Lady Di Lookbook’ Weighs In

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...