Princess Diana‘s wedding dress iconic bridal gown is on display for the first time in 25 years at a new exhibition held at Diana’s former home, Kensington Palace.
Royal Style in the Making, features the weeding dress which was designed and created by David & Elizabeth Emanuel is on loan from her sons Prince William and Prince Harry.
Made to be seen on TV as well as in person, the ivory/pinkish gown featured bows, taffeta, petticoats and exaggerated shoulders embellished with thousands of sequins that made it glitter. It was inspired by both Queen Victoria and Queen Mary‘s style of the day, although today it looks quintessentially 80s.
Trimmed with vintage lace, pearls, the train of Diana’s dress was the longest ever for a British royal bride and appeared crumpled as she emerged from her carriage at St Paul’s Cathedral. The designers were on hand to smooth it out.
The exhibition’s curator Matthew Storey said,
“I think it goes to show that you can plan for everything, but on the day there’ll always be something.
It’s a very big dress. It was a very small carriage.”
In a video at the exhibition, Elizabeth Emanuel recalled Diana phoning to ask her and David to make the dress.
“It was one of those strange moments where you know your life is never going to be the same again.”
Although the design is now universally known it once was cloaked in extreme secrecy. All of Diana’s fittings were done confidentially, and Emmanuel’s shop had to be covered in blinds and guarded by security. The exhibition goes the behind the scenes to uncover how the dress was created in secret and features photographs of the seamstresses as well as the keys for the safe where it was deposited every night.
Another dress on display is a pink ensemble designed by David Sassoon for Bellville Sassoon.
The bespoke outfit was considered her ‘honeymoon’ outfit and later became part of her working wardrobe. She wore it on the royal tour to Australia in 1982, and to open a hospital in Grimsby in 1983.
Two jackets were actually created – one with shorter sleeves and another with longer ones in case of bad weather.
Royal Style in the Making is is up now featuring dresses worn by Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother as well. It runs through January 2, 2022.
(Images, Royal Collection Trust, screen grabs, AP; via Hello!)