The story behind Princess Diana’s Philadelphia Eagles jacket
There’s one royal who would have been cheering on the Eagles in the Super Bowl 2023 on Sunday.
Princess Diana was photographed on a number of occasions wearing a Philadelphia Eagles varsity jacket, but may royal fans are unaware of her association with the Pennsylvania team.
CBS Philadelphia shared the little-known story in a recent pre-Super Bowl broadcast, with the granddaughter of former Eagles owner Leonard Tose dishing on how Diana obtained the famous outerwear.
“She was not necessarily an Eagles fan, but she did love the colors of the Philadelphia Eagles,” Marnie Schneider said on the broadcast.
Schneider went on to explain that the jacket wound up in Diana’s closet as the result of a connection that took place at Grace Kelly’s 1982 funeral.
The team’s statistician at the time, Jackie Edelstein, was a friend of the Kelly family’s and attended the Philly native’s funeral, where he chatted with the Princess of Wales — later telling Philadelphia Inquirer the royal asked about his job and the team’s colors.
When he said they were silver and green, Diana replied, “Those are my favorite colors,” according to Edelstein.
After he got the idea to send her some Eagles merch, Schneider said her grandfather stepped in.
“[Edelstein] said, ‘I want to send her some T-shirts,’ and my grandfather said, ‘She’s the princess! You cant send her just T-shirts. We gotta do something special for this woman.’”
They wound up sending a gift box with an array of items to Princess Diana, including the famous jacket with an embroidered Eagles logo on the back and football helmet on the sleeve.
When asked about her grandfather’s reaction when the princess actually wore the style, Schneider said, “I think he was probably surprised, like a lot of people were.”
Diana apparently was very fond of the gift, as she sported the style everywhere from school drop-off to Alton Towers theme park in England with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Princess Diana has become a familiar icon for Eagles fans over the years, with one Philly shop, South Fellini, even selling pop art-inspired sweatshirts featuring the princess in her Eagles gear, like this “Queen of Green” style ($44).
As for the ongoing legacy of the late royal’s photos, Schneider said it could be part of the reason Diana’s regarded as “the people’s princess.”
“We all love to be a fan,” Schneider said. “I think that wearing this jacket made her feel normal.”