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John Travolta ‘proud’ to host Harry – 40 years after dancefloor spin with Diana

John Travolta presented the aviation awards at which the Duke of Sussex was a recipient (Ian West/PA)
John Travolta presented the aviation awards at which the Duke of Sussex was a recipient (Ian West/PA)

John Travolta has spoken of his pride at hosting the Duke of Sussex at an aviation awards ceremony, almost 40 years after he danced with his mother at the White House.

Harry and the Grease star were pictured together at the Living Legends of Aviation ceremony in Los Angeles, hosted by the aviation ambassador and keen pilot, 69.

Harry was recognised for his work as a British Army veteran and pilot at the ceremony and in his speech he told Travolta it would be fitting for them to fly together after the actor famously spun Diana, Princess of Wales around the dancefloor.

He said: “I was just a one-year-old when you danced with my mum at the White House, and now look at us. The only thing left to do is… not dance together but fly together.”

Diana, who died following a car crash in 1997, made front pages around the world when she was photographed with Travolta on the dancefloor at a gala dinner at the White House in November 1985.

Duke of Sussex comments
John Travolta dancing with Diana, Princess of Wales at a White House dinner in Washington (Ronald Reagan Library/AP/Alamy)

Saturday Night Fever actor Travolta shared a photo of himself and Harry at the event, alongside Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his fiancee Lauren Sanchez.

Helicopter pilot Sanchez was also honoured at the ceremony on Friday, where she was presented with the Elling Halvorson Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award.

Travolta captioned the picture: “I was so proud to host Prince Harry, Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez at Living Legends of Aviation awards event Friday night.

“Congrats to both Prince Harry and Lauren on their awards!!”

During his speech at the ceremony, Harry described flying as “a transcendent experience, a close encounter with magic, an invitation to both protect freedom… and to feel free – and, funny enough, an opportunity to ground oneself, without actually being grounded.”

He added that flight training was “one of life’s greatest lessons”.

The awards ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, honoured “those who make significant contributions to aviation and aerospace”.

The duke completed two tours of Afghanistan as a forward air controller and an Apache helicopter pilot, having flown countless training missions in the UK, the US and Australia.

He served for 10 years in the military, rising to the rank of Captain, and later founded the Invictus Games – a sporting event for wounded military personnel and veterans.