Princess Diana’s stunning wedding dress has been put on display at Kensington Palace ahead of a new royal fashion exhibition.
Opening tomorrow, Royal Style in the Making features never-before-seen items from the archives of some of the most celebrated royal couturiers, alongside examples of the stylish ensembles created for Princess Diana, the Queen and Queen Mother.
The displays will feature original sketches, fabric samples and handwritten notes used by designers including David Emanuel, David Sassoon and Norman Hartnell in creating unique pieces for their royal clients.
Photos released today show Diana’s David Emmanuel dress – complete with its spectacular sequin-encrusted train, which dramatically filled the aisle of St Paul’s Cathedral at 7 meters high – in all its glory in a glass case at the center of the exhibition.
Wedding Dress! Princess Diana’s breathtaking wedding dress is on display at Kensington Palace ahead of a new royal fashion exhibition opening tomorrow
Royal Bride: The gown is on display, complete with its spectacular sequin-encrusted train, which dramatically filled the aisle of St Paul’s Cathedral at 25 feet
The dress is on loan from Prince William and Prince Harry.
The exhibition also traces Diana’s style development from her peach honeymoon outfit to the elegant evening gowns she wore more than a decade later.
As part of this, sketches are shown created by fashion designers who created Diana’s looks.
Matthew Storey, curator of the exhibit at Historic Royal Palaces, said his favorite fashion sketch for a blue floral dress designed by David Sassoon in 1988.
“The dress became known as her ‘caring dress’ because she often wore it to hospital visits or to meet children, knowing they loved the bright, colorful pattern,” he explained.
“She decided not to wear the big matching hat that comes with it, because you said you can’t hug a kid in a hat.
‘She also sometimes wore coarse jewelry when she knew she would meet children, because they liked to play with it.
Showstopper: Princess Diana’s wedding dress is one of the highlights of the royal exhibition
Crowning the work: Royal Style in the Making features never-before-seen items from the archives of some of the most celebrated royal couturiers, alongside examples of the stylish ensembles created for Princess Diana, the Queen and the Queen Mother
Open to the public: the wedding dress will be exhibited prior to the opening of the exhibition
Personal touch: The David Emmanuel dress, pictured, is on loan from William and Harry
“This really illustrates how carefully she considered the people she would meet when choosing outfits for her many public appearances.”
The exhibition also includes pieces made for the Queen and Queen Mother.
But it is Diana who is firmly in the spotlight again.
Prince Harry has spoken out repeatedly about his mental health in recent interviews with his late mother and on July 1, he and William will unveil a statue of her in the garden of Kensington Palace to mark what would have been her 60th birthday.
Film and TV footage, including The Crown and Spencer – the upcoming biopic starring Kristen Stewart – has also sparked a renewed interest in the princess’s fashion.
Showstopper: A dress designed by David Sassoon for the state opening of parliament. The sketch is one of several that will be on display as part of the royal fashion exhibition
Dazzling: Princess Diana at their first state opening of parliament in November 1981
Mr Storey added: ‘Our summer exhibition at Kensington Palace will showcase some of the greatest talents of British design, whose work has played an important role in shaping the visual identity of the Royal Family in the twentieth century.
We will explore how the collaboration between each designer and client worked and reveal the process behind the creation of some of the most important couture commissions in royal history.
‘While one of the highlights will no doubt be Diana, Emanuel’s stunning Princess of Wales wedding dress – which is on display at the palace for the first time in 25 years – we have some real surprises in store for fashion fans! ‘
From sketch to dress: drawings by designers that will be on display
Royal Style in the Making, June 3 – January 2, 2022, at Kensington Palace. For more information visit hrp.org.uk