Every Detail About Princess Diana's Iconic Wedding Dress
Wedding bells are officially in the air. With an online betting frenzy taking place over who will design Meghan Markle's wedding dress for her upcoming nuptials with Prince Harry, it's only appropriate to look back on one of the most famous royal wedding dresses of all—Princess Diana's. Declared the " ," the wedding dress was a complete mystery until its dramatic unveiling on Princess Diana's wedding day.
Designed by husband-and-wife team David and Elizabeth Emanuel, Princess Diana's Alexander McQueen ivory taffeta gown was intricately embroidered with sequins, frilled lace, and 10,000 pearls, putting the value of the gown at an estimated $115,000. A stunning display of style and grandiosity, the gown has sparked multiple copycat dresses over the years and remains one of the most coveted royal gowns.
Now, here's a look back at all the mysterious details of Diana's wedding gown and how she managed to stun thousands with her iconic wedding day ensemble.
Her wedding gown barely fit in the royal coach.
Talk about wanting to make an entrance. Princess Diana had to be stuffed into her carriage on the way to St. Paul's Cathedral, as the excessive amount of fabric made it difficult for her to fit in the coach. Folding the fabric over and over to fit Diana into the carriage was what caused the wrinkles on her dress, designer Elizabeth Emanuel told the Daily Mail.
She stuck with tradition and wore something old, new, borrowed, and blue.
Her antique lace gown—the "something old"—was made with a fabric specially spun at a British silk farm, and a small blue bow was sewn into the waistband. For the final bit of the tradition, Diana wore the Spencer family tiara, an 18th century-era heirloom.
The lace on the
gown dates back to the Queen Mary.
There is a very special square of Carrickmacross lace attached to Princess Diana's gown that once belonged to Queen Mary. Depending on the source, the square of fabric was either found in a bag of scraps or a donation from the Royal School of Needlework. Either way, it connected Diana to royal history.
She actually had to be sewn into her dress.
Princess Diana lost a considerable amount of weight before the big day, which meant some alterations were in order before she could be stitched into the final version of her dress on the day of the wedding. “She ended up with a 23-inch waist from a 26 to 27-inch,” designer Elizabeth Emanuel told People.
There was a small horseshoe charm inside her dress for good luck.
As a good luck charm, the designers of Princess Diana's dress attached an 18-carat gold trinket studded with white diamonds to the label. While it wasn't visible in photographs or even to anyone near Diana at the ceremony, the horseshoe-shaped token was a sweet addition to an already extravagant gown.
The veil attached to her tiara was longer than her train.
One of the most impressive parts of Princess Diana's gown is the 25-foot train. Even more amazing, though, was the 153-yard tulle veil connected to her tiara that truly made the ensemble feel worthy of a princess.
Princess Diana's silk shoes took six months to make.
A hidden accessory beneath her extravagant gown, Princess Diana's silk shoes were a glamorous addition, covered in 542 sequins and 132 pearls, according to Daily Mail. While the heels themselves remained low to the ground, the arch of each shoe included the initials C and D—for Charles and Diana.
A matching umbrella was created just in case of rain.
The Emanuels were more than prepared for Diana's big day, even going so far as to design and create an umbrella with matching pearls and lace embroidery in case of rain. "It was made of such light material that it certainly wasn't waterproof," Elizabeth Emanuel told Daily Mail. "It wouldn't have done her much good!"
There was actually a small perfume stain on her gown during the ceremony.
As it goes, wedding mishaps even happen to royals. On the day of her wedding, Princess Diana accidentally spilled some Quelques Fleurs perfume on her dress, her makeup artist Barbara Daly revealed in Diana: The Portrait. Diana was quick to tuck the front of her dress in, though, effectively hiding the stain.
The designers had to install a safe to keep her dress a secret.
The media was all over the Emanuels' design studio following the announcement that they would be in charge of Princess Diana's dress. The couple went to great lengths to keep details about the gown a secret until the day of, even installing a safe to keep designs and fabric swatches. “It sounds a bit over-the-top, but it really did seem like people would go to any lengths to find out what the dress looked like,” Elizabeth explained, according to MetDaan.
A second dress was created and later vanished.
In 2005, an auction claimed to have a spare copy of the original gown up for grabs, according to CBS News. While the
She left her dress to Prince William and Prince Harry in her will.
Since its original unveiling in 1981, Princess Diana's dress has made appearances all over the world. In 2014, as stipulated in Princess Diana's will, the dress was passed down to her sons Prince William and Prince Harry after Harry's 30th birthday, according to People.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.