Written by Ashton Snyder on
 May 10, 2024

Tom Selleck Discusses His Reluctance To Dance With Princess Diana In 1985

In his latest memoir, Tom Selleck reveals the behind-the-scenes story of his memorable dance with Princess Diana during the 1985 White House Dinner, sharing insights into the star-studded evening.

According to People, Tom Selleck, known for his role in Magnum, P.I., was filming in Hawaii when he learned about his invitation to the 1985 White House Dinner. He considered skipping the event until a pivotal revelation. His publicist informed him that he was one of only three actors personally requested by Princess Diana to attend, along with Clint Eastwood and John Travolta.

At the dinner, hosted by President Ronald Reagan, the atmosphere was charged with anticipation as guests awaited the arrival of the royals. Selleck and Eastwood initially decided to keep a low profile during the event, which saw numerous high-profile figures in attendance.

Tom Selleck's Reluctance to Dance with Diana

Despite the festive atmosphere, Selleck hesitated when first encouraged to dance with Diana. A British woman approached him, urging him to replace Travolta on the dance floor. Selleck's immediate reaction was to refuse, fearing the potential for rumors and misunderstanding.

"I'M NOT CUTTING IN ON JOHN TRAVOLTA!" he exclaimed, much to the displeasure of the woman who had approached him. This moment of resistance highlighted his initial reluctance to step into the spotlight with the Princess.

However, as the evening wore on, Selleck found himself sharing a dance with Princess Diana before she could begin another dance with Travolta. Describing Diana as "lovely and shy," he admitted to being starstruck and apologized for his limited dance skills, which he humorously noted consisted only of a basic box step.

Princess Diana's Grace and Conversation Skills

During their dance, Selleck was impressed by Diana's graciousness and her adept conversational skills despite her shy demeanor. "She was lovely, and there was a very shy quality about her in spite of her being well-schooled in the art of conversation," Selleck recalled, highlighting her elegance and charm.

The interaction was not just about dancing; it also involved engaging dialogue. Selleck chose to focus on a conversation over elaborate dance moves, jokingly remarking that he wasn't about to attempt a dip with the Princess.

This memorable interaction left a lasting impression on Selleck, marking it as one of the most memorable experiences of his life, described vividly in his memoir.

John Travolta's Storybook Moment with Princess Diana

John Travolta's dance with Princess Diana was another highlight of the evening. Described by Travolta as a "storybook moment," the dance was a fulfillment of Diana's wish, making it a particularly poignant part of the night's festivities.

Travolta recalled, "About 10 o'clock at night, Nancy Reagan tapped on my shoulder and said, 'The princess, her fantasy is to dance with you. Would you like to dance with her tonight?' To which I replied, 'Of course.'"

Their dance ended with a respectful bow, a fairy-tale moment that concluded with both returning to their separate paths, leaving a lasting memory for all who witnessed it.

Conclusion: A Night of Unforgettable Interactions

In his latest memoir, Tom Selleck recounts his dance with Princess Diana at the 1985 White House Dinner, revealing Diana specifically requested him to attend the star-studded event. Initially hesitant to dance with the Princess, fearing rumors, Selleck eventually shared a memorable dance with her, describing her as "lovely and shy" and emphasizing their engaging conversation rather than dance moves.

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About Ashton Snyder

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