Tom Selleck and Diana
Photo by Pete Souza/The White House

Tom Selleck Recalls Dancing with Princess Diana at White House Gala to Quell Rumor Concerns

Tom Selleck has shared a memorable encounter with Princess Diana in his latest memoir, “You Never Know,” detailing a unique experience at a state dinner at the White House in November 1985. The event, held in honor of Princess Diana and then-Prince Charles, was attended by notable figures including President Ronald Reagan, First Lady Nancy Reagan, Clint Eastwood, and John Travolta, Told by New York Post.

In his recount, Selleck describes feeling “anxious” before meeting the royals, but he quickly found Princess Diana to be “charming and graceful and beautiful,” and noted that Charles possessed a knack for making others feel significantly valued during their interactions.

The evening’s agenda included a formal dinner followed by dancing in the East Room. President Reagan took the first dance with Princess Diana, while Charles paired up with Nancy Reagan. However, it was Diana’s subsequent dances with John Travolta that sparked concern among some attendees. Selleck recalled being approached by a frantic woman who insisted that he should cut in to avoid fueling any rumors due to Diana and Travolta’s repeated dancing.

“‘I’M NOT CUTTING IN ON JOHN TRAVOLTA!’ was my reply, probably in too loud a voice,” Selleck wrote. Reluctantly, he agreed to dance with Diana during the next song, grateful that it was a slow one given his self-professed lack of ballroom dancing skills. Despite his nerves, Selleck found Diana to be “lovely” and appreciative of her conversational prowess, which helped him through the dance.

Meanwhile, Selleck’s wife, Jillie Mack, was enjoying her time dancing with Prince Charles, who humorously thanked her for rescuing him from the Reagan’s friends who were “stepping on my toes.” The evening continued with Charles requesting a second dance with Mack, while Clint Eastwood took over for Selleck, allowing him to share a dance with Nancy Reagan.

Reflecting on the event, Selleck reminisced about dancing with Nancy Reagan to a 1940s tune she sang along to, describing it as a delightful conclusion to an unforgettable night.

Selleck’s account offers a glimpse into the interactions and dynamics of a high-profile event, showcasing his unexpected role in a dance that was more about diplomacy than rhythm, and his genuine admiration for the people he shared those moments with.

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