21/02/2017 2:22 AM AEDT | Updated 21/02/2017 5:44 AM AEDT

Princess Diana Refused To Wear A Hat With This Dress For The Sweetest Reason On Earth

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Princess Diana's "caring dress," worn without a hat to greet abandoned children in Sao Paulo.

The highly anticipated Princess Diana fashion exhibit opens Friday at Kensington Palace, and with it comes some heartwarming insight about one of her iconic dresses.  

As exhibition curator Eleri Lynn explained to British Vogue, Diana was extremely thoughtful about her clothing. A bright floral dress the princess often wore to hospitals was intended to be worn with a hat, but as Diana declared, “You can’t cuddle a child in a hat.” 

She often wore the same happy floral dress for hospital visits (memorable from a 1991 visit to a Sao Paulo shelter for abandoned children, many of whom were suffering from AIDS)... She called it her caring dress,” says Lynn of the Bellville Sassoon, showing me the paparazzi cuts of this repeat favorite, “You’ll notice she is not wearing gloves. That’s a royal protocol that she ditched because she liked to hold hands with people and make skin-to-skin contact. The original sketch came with a hat, but she didn’t wear a hat because she said, ‘You can’t cuddle a child in a hat,’” says Lynn.

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“Diana: Her Fashion Story” was commissioned to honor Diana’s life on the 20th anniversary of her death in Paris in August 1997. As a major part of her life was committed to children’s well-being, it’s no surprise that her wardrobe reflected that. 

For example, what did she pair with her “caring dress?” Big costume jewelry that children could play with, Lynne told Vogue. 

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Chunky jewelry play in progress. 

So sweet. “Diana: Her Fashion Story” opens Friday at Kensington Palace. 

Tim Graham via Getty Images