Internet InfoMedia tom selleck danced with princess diana to avoid rumors starting about her and john travolta

Tom Selleck is opening up about a special moment he shared with Princess Diana.

In his memoir, “You Never Know,” Selleck recalled being one of only three actors on Princess Diana’s personal list of invitees to the state dinner at the White House in November 1985, held in honor of the princess and the then-Prince Charles. Also in attendance were President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan, as well as Clint Eastwood and John Travolta.

He remembered feeling “anxious” while waiting to meet the royals, but upon meeting them, felt the princess was “charming and graceful and beautiful,” adding Charles had the rare skill “of making you feel like you were important to him in your moment together.”

“After dinner, everybody moved to the East Room for music and dancing. President Reagan and Princess Diana danced, and Charles danced with Nancy. Then John Travolta and the princess started dancing,” he explained, adding he and Eastwood opted to stay off the dance floor. 

Princess Diana and Prince Charles at the White House with President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan

Selleck was invited to the state dinner at the White House held by Ronald and Nancy Reagan in honor of Princess Diana and then-Prince Charles. (Getty Images)

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Pretty soon, Selleck was approached by a woman “speaking very rapidly,” who told him, “Mr. Travolta and the princess are dancing for a second time together. We can’t have that. We don’t want to start rumors, do we?” After both Eastwood and Selleck met her with silence, the woman added, “Mr. Selleck, you must step in and replace him.”

“‘I’M NOT CUTTING IN ON JOHN TRAVOLTA!’ was my reply, probably in too loud a voice,” Selleck wrote. “She was not happy. ‘Very well. The next dance, come with me.’”

Princess Diana and John Travolta dancing at the state dinner in 1985

Selleck was asked to dance with Princess Diana, so rumors wouldn’t spread about her and Travolta. (Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

When the next song began, Selleck kept to his word and began dancing with the princess, writing he was just thankful “it was a slow number.” He was admittedly nervous about his dance skills, “not having been schooled in ballroom dancing,” joking he definitely “was not going to dip the Princess of Wales.”

The “Blue Bloods” star noted that he apologized to the princess for his dancing.

Tom Selleck and Princess Diana split

Selleck was nervous about dancing with Princess Diana since he had no ballroom training. (Getty Images)

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Princess Diana was lovely, and there was a very shy quality about her in spite of her being well schooled in the art of conversation,” he explained. “I gotta say she seemed to be having the time of her life. I was relieved she talked most of the time. Let’s just say it was not my finest hour as a conversationalist.”

Selleck was at the event with his wife at the time, Jillie Mack, who he says was dancing with Prince Charles while he was dancing with Diana. According to Selleck, Charles thanked Mack for their dance when it was over, adding, “I was so happy you rescued me. All of Nancy’s friends kept stepping on my toes.”

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Princess Diana, Prince William, Prince Harry and King Charles standing next to each other

Diana died in August 1997, leaving behind the young Prince William and Prince Harry. (Terry Fincher/Getty Images)

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“The prince asked Jillie for a second dance. Clint took over for me, and I got to dance with my friend Nancy,” Selleck explained. “She was relaxed, and I was relaxed. They were playing a song from the 1940s. I wish I could remember what it was, because Nancy was quietly singing along. What a nice way to end the evening.”

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