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Princess Diana’s wedding dress on display at Kensington Palace for the first time in 25 years


by Sarah Finnan
03rd Jun 2021
Princess Diana’s wedding dress on display at Kensington Palace for the first time in 25 years

The dukes of Cambridge and Sussex have loaned Princess Diana’s wedding dress to Kensington Palace as part of a new exhibition at Kensington Palace.

Princess Diana is known for many of her enviable fashion choices. From laid back bicycle shorts paired with oversized crewnecks to slinky gowns and sapphire chokers, the woman was the epitome of style, so it’s no surprise that we continue to look to her for inspiration all these years later. 

Ask people what their favourite Princess Di look is and you’ll get a variety of different answers, but the dress she wore on her wedding day to Prince Charles is by far one of her most memorable. And fans can now see it up close and personal (at least those near London can, anyway). 

Loaned to the palace by Prince William and Prince Harry, the dress is on display as part of a new “Royal Style in the Making” exhibition. Designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel for the princess of Wale’s wedding day, the gown is made from ivory silk taffeta and antique lace, featuring a gently scoop neckline with an intricately embellished collar and puff sleeves. Not to mention a 25-foot sequin-encrusted train – one of the longest trains in royal history. 

Among “the most famous in bridal history”, according to organisers, the dress’s enduring popularity is a testament to the late princess’s influence on the fashion world. Worn by Diana when she married Prince Charles back in 1981, other items on display include a rare surviving toile for the 1937 coronation gown of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, consort of King George VI along with never-before-seen items from the archives of some of the most celebrated royal couturiers of the 20th century. 

Hoping to provide a sneak peek into the “rarefied world of the atelier”, the exhibition will showcase how some of Britain’s finest designers created clothing fit for royal. A description for the exhibition states, “from the symbolic power of a coronation gown to the romance of a royal wedding dress, the designs on show helped shape the public image of the British monarchy, and propelled the British fashion industry onto the global stage.”

Launching one month before what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday, the exhibition officially opened to the public in the newly-conserved historic Orangery as of just this morning. Diana’s birthday, which falls on July 1, will be marked next month by the unveiling of a commemorative statue of her on palace grounds. 

If a quick trip to London is off the cards, you can watch the trailer below in lieu of an actual visit to Kensington Palace.

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