The unfortunate union of Charles and Dianawho in 1981 went to the altar becoming princes of Wales and heirs to the throne of England, is both history and legend but the short duration of their marriage does not prevent us from still making fairy tales today about what is considered the most iconic royal wedding ever.
Lady Diana’s wedding dress designer returned to the wedding days of her most famous client to tell some background of those unforgettable days. For Diana Spencer a spare wedding dressa second white dress that would have come in handy if details of the first were leaked in advance, before the ceremony.
The backup suit (very different from the first)
Spoilers and rumors were still a problem in 1981, when news was delivered through print media, radio and TV. Even in the absence of the internet and social media, Lady Diana had to deal with a plan B in case the journalists chasing her managed to find out something about her wedding dressan element on which the attention of the media and the public was most focused on the occasion of her marriage to the then Prince Charles.
Elizabeth EmmanuelBritish designer born in 1953, revealed to Hello Magazine the plans devised for Lady Spencer’s wardrobe on her big day.
The backup suit, the “spare dress” – to use a word that has become familiar even to non-English speakers since it was published Shoot, the biographical book written by Prince Harry Windsor, second son of Lady D. – was the same color as the one we all know, ivory white. Made in precious silk taffeta, it differed from the one with which Diana entered St. Paul’s Cathedral above all for the sleeve design which were not puffy and voluminous but three-quarter length and with a scalloped edge. The style of the skirt was also different, which was not “meringue” but wide and with embroidered details on the edge. Other embroideries, all in pearls, were present on the bodice.
Diana, the wedding look that became a legend
From Emanuel’s description, which he provided to Hello Magazine even of the gown sketches, Diana’s backup wedding dress had little in common with the one worn on her wedding day except for the style of the skirt and the shallow, V-neckline. If Diana had to give up her first choice for the day of his wedding, which took place on July 29, 1981, the world would have missed the opportunity to admire what is considered one of the most representative creations of the royal and eighties style.
Crafted from yards and yards of tulle (ninety were used for the underskirt!), Diana’s gown was embellished with over ten thousand hand-sewn pearls and various pieces of antique royal fabric that had been added to give a load symbolic at all.
Walked in immediately in the myth for the lavish style and yet spirited that expressed the fashion taste of one’s time married in his early twentiesLady D.’s wedding dress has been imitated by generations of brides who have tried to feel like princesses even just for one day.
In the interview, the designer, now in her seventies, also recalled that she felt faint at the sight of the royal bride in the dress completely crumpled just out of the carriage, an accident of style practically inevitable given the size of the dress and the very small space of the vehicle.
So what happened to the spare dress? The stylist doesn’t know, she just remembers that it was not completed due to the limited time available but assures that sooner or later it will jump out of the deposits of its atelier to become another piece in the story of Lady D., who disappeared on August 31st twenty-six years ago.