Philadelphia Eagles

The story behind Princess Diana's Eagles jacket photo


If you’re an Eagles fan who has ever logged on to Twitter, you’ve seen the image dozens of times: Princess Diana wearing a green Eagles jacket.

It’s remarkable because it’s seemingly so inexplicable.

Except there’s a perfectly good explanation as to how the British royal was photographed wearing some fresh Eagles gear.

The story has been told before, but with the Eagles traveling to London this week to battle the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium, it’s worth revisiting.

Pro Football Hall of Fame writer Ray Didinger, the guy who literally wrote The Eagles Encyclopedia, spoke about the origins of the photos for “Birds in Britain,” a special that will air Friday at 6:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

It all started with a statistician and spotter for the Eagles radio network named Jack Edelstein who Didinger described as a “man about town,” who was friends with Jack Kelly, brother of Grace Kelly.

Edelstein’s Associated Press obituary from August of 2000 said he once dated Marilyn Monroe and that he "befriended politicians and millionaires and hung out with comedians Don Rickles and Jerry Lewis.”

Those were big names back in the day.

Those Hollywood relationships would eventually help propel the Eagles logo to global fame.

“Through Jack and Grace, Edelstein got to know some of the royals in England,” Didinger said. “He found out that Princess Diana — not that she was a football fan or even knew anything about football — was sort of charmed by the Eagles logo. She thought the Eagle in flight was a graceful looking logo.”

“That got back to Jack and he decided to send her a nice gift with the Eagles logo on it. So he sent her one of those really handsome jackets with the logo on it. She wore it a lot actually. There was a photo of her wearing it taken and it wound up on the cover of People magazine. It totally came out of the blue.”

“That Eagles jacket became a very hot fashion item. Not just in Philadelphia but all over the place.”

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you'll see quite a few more Eagles jackets in London this weekend.

This story was originally published Oct. 25, 2018.

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