How Princess Diana came to own her famous custom-made Philadelphia Eagles jacket after a chance encounter at Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco’s funeral in 1982
- In the 1990s Princess Diana was pictured wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jacket
- She was gifted the jacket after a chance encounter at Grace Kelly’s funeral
- The man who gave it to her said they bonded over a shared love of wine spritzers
Princess Diana’s came into possession of her famous custom-made Philadelphia Eagles jacket after a chance encounter at Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco’s funeral in 1982.
Kelly, a native of the city of Brotherly Love, was killed in a car accident in Monte Carlo at the age of 53. Among the mourners at her funeral in the principality was Jack Edelstein, a statistician and broadcaster for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Edelstein, known for his quick wit and anecdotes, according to his obituary, struck up an unlikely friendship with the Princess of Wales. He told her that his team’s colors were green and silver, which happened to be Diana’s favorite colors.
When he returned to the US, Edelstein sent over a care package of Eagles souvenirs that included the jacket, which was made specially.
On Sunday, the Birds do battle with the Kansas City Chiefs in Phoenix in Super Bowl 57. Diana joins other Eagles’ celebrity fans such as Kevin Hart, Bradley Cooper and Tina Fey.
Diana was first pictured wearing the jacket in 1991 while picking up William London’s Watherby Prep School
One royal expert said that Diana didn’t even know about British sports, let alone American ones
This People Magazine front cover was blown up and placed in the office of the Eagles’ owner in 1994
Diana was first pictured wearing the jacket in 1991 while picking up William from London’s Watherby Prep School. A few years later, she was pictured wearing it while enjoying the rides in the UK theme park, Alton Towers.
In 1994, Diana was pictured on the cover of People Magazine in the jacket. That picture was reported to have been blown up and hung in the office of the team’s owner at that point, Jeffrey Lurie.
‘She sent me a very nice note, how she’d been wearing them around,’ Edelstein told the Philadelphia Daily News in 1997 at the time of Diana’s death. The same report mentions that the picture of the princess in the jacket adorns bar room walls across Philly.
These days there’s even a chic boutique selling sweaters with a silhouette image of Diana wearing the Eagles’ colors for $44.
Edelstein was a close friend of Princess Grace’s brother, Olympic rower Jack Kelly. Edelstein told the Inquirer that besides the NFL, the pair spoke about a love of wine spritzers and memories of Princess Grace.
The broadcaster added in his Daily News interview: ‘She thought football was like soccer. She asked, “What are you colors?” I said, “Green and silver.” She said, “Those are my favorite colors.”‘
In addition to the jacket, Edelstein said that the care package included shorts, golf shirts and baseball caps. He also said that the idea to send her a custom made jacket came from team owner Leonard Tose.
Jack Edelstein, the man who gave Diana the jacket, died in August 2000 after a battle with liver cancer
Tose’s granddaughter Marnie Schneider told CBS Philadelphia this week that his exact words were: ‘We gotta do something special for this woman.’
‘She was not necessarily an Eagles fan, but she did love the colors of the Philadelphia Eagles,’ Schneider added.
She also said that her grandfather was ‘probably surprised’ when he saw the princess wearing the jacket so frequently.
In 1991, British royal family expert Andrew Morton told the Daily News that Diana wore things ‘because they create a look.’
‘She knows very little about English sports, let alone American teams,’ Morton added.
Edelstein died in August 2000 after a battle with liver cancer. His obituary mentions that he once dated Marilyn Monroe.
Edelstein was born in Philadelphia and attended Temple University. He was a Navy pilot in World War II and was shot down three times.
He was famous for his nonsensical speeches at roasts and charity events. He also did his routine at serious symposiums, the Associated Press wrote at the time of his death.
‘He’d start talking and you’d think he was making sense. But after a while you would realize he really wasn’t saying anything. That was his schtick,’ said Michael Nathanson, a nephew.
Edelstein dated Hollywood stars, befriended politicians and millionaires and hung out with comedians Don Rickles and Jerry Lewis.
Princess Diana pictured with Princess Grace Kelly and King Charles at the Royal Opera House in London in March 1981
Diana pictured 18 months later at Princess Grace’s funeral in Monte Carlo
In Morton’s book, Diana, Her True Story, he wrote that when the Princess of Wales learned of Grace Kelly’s death she said to Charles: ‘I feel I’d very much like to represent your mama at the funeral,’ and he said: ‘Well, we’ll have to ask her, but I doubt she’ll let you go.’
She replied: ‘Well, I think it’s important, because she was an outsider who married into a big family and I’ve done the same, so it would feel right.’
‘I wanted to be a part of Grace’s funeral because I admired her so much; she was so sweet to me,’ Diana said, according to Morton.
During one meeting, Morton wrote that Kelly once told a 19-year-old Diana about royal life.
‘Don’t worry, it’ll only get worse,’ she had said.
Their encounters were also recounted in season four of the Netflix hit, The Crown.
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