Diana, John Travolta, the White House and the dance that changed everything

Diana, John Travolta, the White House and the dance that changed everything
Diana, John Travolta, the White House and the dance that changed everything

As we remember the late Princess Diana on the 25th anniversary of her death, this iconic photo of her dancing with John Travolta at the White House represents a wonderful episode in both their lives. Read more to find out the story behind it.

August 31, 1997: a shocking incident

On August 31, 1997, Lady Diana, the People’s Princess, died in a tragic car accident in Paris. Her death shocked the world. What you may not know is that one Hollywood actor was particularly fond of the princess: John Travolta.

It happened in the White House

Not everyone remembers that Diana of Wales played an important role in the revival of John Travolta as an actor and personality. That sounds dramatic, but Travolta himself put it this way.

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From Olympus to exile in Hollywood

Travolta was the true icon of the late 1970s. The films he starred in took him to unprecedented heights in Hollywood. However, there were also projects that were not as successful as expected, and John Travolta’s career almost stopped after the failure of ‘Two of a Kind’ (1983) and ‘Perfect’ (1985).

John Travolta is at the bottom of his career…

In 1985, the actor went through a series of existential crises, as a result of which he fell into depression and had many dark ideas running through his head.

…and then comes the reception at the White House

On November 9, 1985, President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, hosted a reception at the White House to welcome the Prince of Wales, Charles, and his then-wife, Lady Diana. It so happened that it was the princess who requested that John Travolta also be a guest at the reception.

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Like a frog turned into a prince

“I had no idea there was anything planned for me tonight,” Travolta told The Daily Telegraph. “I just felt flattered to be invited to this event because I was at the lowest point in my career and yet I was in this room. I felt like the frog that was transformed into a prince.”

Diana’s big surprise

Although it didn’t seem like it at first, John Travolta was the center of the evening. And it was Lady Di who pulled the strings to give him a magical evening.

“Would you dance with her?”

“At 9:30 p.m. Nancy Reagan came to me and told me she had a special request from Princess Diana.”Travolta recalls. “She always had a big dream – to dance with you. Would you dance with her?” The actor was obviously stunned. Who would have guessed that Lady Di was such a big fan of his?

Dancing With Lady Di: Is It Appropriate?

“I asked if it was appropriate,” the actor tells People. “Mrs. Reagan smiled and said, “Oh, yes. This is one of her wishes. When the music from your movie comes on, if you don’t mind, just ask her if she’d like to dance.”

When the orchestra starts playing “Are we going to dance”, Lady Diana opens the dance floor with Ronald Reagan, while the First Lady floats in the company of Prince Charles. Meanwhile, John Travolta is waiting for a signal. He is very nervous.

And the magical sound begins

As the song ends, the orchestra, already primed, moves into a medley of slow songs from “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease”. That was the signal. Of course, John Travolta thought it would be inappropriate to interrupt the president’s dance with Diana, but what he didn’t know was that Ronald Reagan was also in the know.

And here they are, dancing in the White House

Trembling and timid, John Travolta approaches Diana and says: “Excuse me princess, do you want to dance?”. She bowed her head, blushed, and answered: “With pleasure”. The good thing about John Travolta, or so he thought, was that there were plenty of other people dancing so they wouldn’t notice if he messed up. But as his songs played, people backed away and soon they were the only ones on the dance floor. A magical moment.

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This was his moment and he seized it

“Oh my god, we’re dancing alone in the middle of the hall and everyone’s looking at us”, John Travolta thinks. It’s a risky situation, but the actor wants to make the most of it. He is there, this is his moment and he knows it will only happen once. Also, on the dance floor, no one can beat John Travolta.

“Princess, let me lead you.”

“Because she danced very tightly with Charles (in fact, she led him), she did the same with me,” recalls John Travolta. “So I gently took her hand and put my other hand on her back.In this way he signals to her that he is now in command. She gets the message and everything goes great. “We had all the time in the world.”

And the best was yet to come. As soon as the dance is over, the people in the hall not only applaud them. They are happy for the couple! What a moment. Linda Faulkner, the president’s protocol secretary, said she had never seen anything like it in the White House.

She returned to London and he to California

After the evening is over, the guests say their goodbyes and Diana returns to London under the illusion that the princess has found her prince. John Travolta also returns home with a renewed spirit for life. So at 2 am at the airport in Washington he realized what had happened that night.

John Travolta euphorically commented to one of the airport staff: “You know what? Tonight I danced with Princess Diana”. To his surprise, the clerk replied: “I know. Everyone knows.” Lady Diana and John Travolta’s dance went viral within hours, and there was no social media to do it.

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The most sought after actor

And indeed, everyone knew it. In fact, the next day, John Travolta’s phone was ringing off the hook. All directors, producers and film companies are looking for it. Travolta was back. His fairy tale had come true and the princess had saved him with a magical dance that would be remembered for generations in the White House.

The article is in bulgaria

Tags: Diana John Travolta White House dance changed

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