Hardly any garment has had as much attention as Princess Diana’s wedding dress. Almost 40 years after the big event, Harper’s Bazaar have released an article under the headline “Everything You Need to Know About Princess Diana's Wedding Gown - from secrets revealed to who inherited the most iconic wedding dress in modern history”.
According to the designers, one of the secrets was that an alternate backup dress had been made to allow for a switch in case details of the bride’s choice were revealed ahead of the wedding to Prince Charles on July 29th, 1981. Only when Lady Diana Spencer stepped out of Clarence House on her way to St Paul’s Cathedral, where the wedding took place, reporters everywhere ripped open sealed envelopes revealing the “most closely guarded secret in fashion history“. The dramatic unveiling did not disappoint. Diana had chosen British designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel who had already done a couple of evening gowns for her. The amount of ivory taffeta, lace, pearls and sequins used for the dress plus the length of the train and the veil are mere figures, let’s just say Diana had problems squeezing into the royal carriage. As a result her train was wrinkled when she made her grand entrance up the stairs of St Paul‘s and down the aisle. Quite another challenge for the designers was the fact that Diana had lost weight between the dress fittings and her big day so that she had to be sewn into her wedding gown to give it the perfect fit.
Since she wore it down the aisle, Princess Diana's wedding gown has made appearances in museums and exhibitions globally. According to the People magazine, Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, had been looking after the gown since her death in 1997. In 1998, it became the centre piece of the museum at Althorp, the Spencer family’s estate. In 2014, the dress was passed down to her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, after Harry's 30th birthday. Diana reportedly outlined the ownership of her wedding gown in her will.