This article originally appeared in the Daily News on Jan. 11, 1991.
LONDON — So now it can be told what a well-dressed mother wears when accompanying her son to school.
She puts on a Philadelphia Eagles jacket. Only this is Wetherby Prep School, and that young, smart-looking mother happens to be the Princess of Wales.
Could it be that the self-confident, trendsetting queen-to-be is an Eagles fan? Will we soon be calling the quarterback Lord Cunningham?
Princess Di doesn't know about Reggie White. She's never seen a cornerback. She can't explain the secondary. And she doesn't care about Buddy Ryan.
“She’s probably never even seen an American football game," sniffed Harold Brooks-Baker, publishing director of Burke’s Peerage, a guidebook of British blue bloods.
“She wears these things because they create a look," said Andrew Morton, one of Britain’s leading authorities on the royal family. “She knows very little about English sports, let alone American teams.”
Di’s taste runs to rock concerts, theater, shopping, nightclubs, movies, shopping, and sunbathing.
A spokeswoman at Buckingham Palace was not much help.
“Does she like the color green?”
“Well, we don’t know that.”
“Does the Eagle on the jacket mean something to her?”
“No, we don’t deal with such matters.”
"How about Buddy Ryan? Does she have an opinion about Buddy Ryan? Everyone else does.”
Clearly, it is too common to speak about such things.
The consensus among Di-watchers is that she bought the jacket for about $200 at one of the fashionable London stores that sell clothes adorned with NFL logos.
“The English like the Eagles on the jackets because they symbolize America," said Linda Ellis, of Slick Willy’s, one of Diana’s favorite stores. Slick Willy’s stocks all sorts of trendy American clothing, including Eagles jackets, hats, and sweatpants.
The L.A. Raiders gear is popular sportswear in England because “we love the black color," said Megan Douglas, manager of Unity, a new sports shop specializing in New York street fashion. A Raiders jacket sells for $350.
Di is simply following the great boom here in American football — not to be confused with European football, which is what we call soccer.
So it is not all that surprising to see the Princess of Wales with a shopping bag full of Eagles clothes, behaving exactly like any other 29-year-old whose mother-in-law’s portrait is on every pound note.
UPdate: Jack Edelstein, a longtime statistician for the Eagles, recounted the tale of Di and her jacket to the Daily News after Diana’s death in 1997. Edelstein and the princess of Wales met at the 1982 funeral for another commoner turned royal — Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly. At the reception, Edelstein, friend of the Kelly clan, struck up a conversation with Diana that quickly turned to his profession. She asked about the Eagles’ color scheme, and he said they wore green and silver, which she said were her favorite. After the funeral, the team sent Diana a care package that included the custom-made jacket.