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Making of the royal gown: When Princess Diana had made a casual appointment with her designers

"Fashion was not her thing at all; it was something that was really forced upon her because she had to dress up for the part"

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | November 24, 2020 4:40:56 pm
Princess Diana, Princess Diana wedding dress, Princess Diana wedding dress in The Crown, Princess Diana and Prince Charles wedding, The Crown Season 4, indian express newsPrincess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day. (Agency photo)

Around the world, Netflix’s The Crown has been trending a lot — mostly because of its intricate portrayal of the inner world of the British royal family. Currently in its fourth season, the show details the life of the late Princess Diana of Wales, her fairy tale wedding, and her troubled marriage with Prince Charles.

Among other things, her wedding gown has suddenly roused the interest of many viewers around the world, who have been looking to understand what exactly went into the making of it. Diana famously wore the puffy, ivory white gown to her wedding that took place at St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981.

In the new season of The Crown, viewers are treated to Emma Corrin’s portrayal of Diana. The actor had previously said it had taken 10 people to help her get into the “massive dress” that was a replica of the late royal’s wedding gown.

Princess Diana’s wedding dress was conceived and designed by duo David and Elizabeth Emanuel. According to The Independent, David and Elizabeth had met while studying at the Harrow School of Art. They got married, had two children and launched their fashion house ‘Emanuel Salon’ in 1977. In fact, early in his career, David had worked for royal fashion designer Hardy Amies, who began working with Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s.

In 2016, he had told Woman’s Own that Diana had called up to make an appointment for her wedding dress “like anybody else”, for she had previously got “three or four gowns made for formal occasions”.

“Fashion was not her thing at all; it was something that was really forced upon her because she had to dress up for the part. The dress had to be something that was going to go down in history, but also something that Diana loved. And we knew it was going to be at St Paul’s, so it had to be something that would fill the aisle and be quite dramatic,” Elizabeth Emanuel had said.

ALSO READ | Online search for Diana’s ‘sheep jumper’, ‘red dress’ surges after The Crown’s latest season

According to the Independent report, the gown was made of ivory silk taffeta, with the neckline and mutton sleeves designed with lace flounces — a feature fitting for the fashion of the 80s. It also had hand-embroidered mother-of-pearl sequins, which came together to form a heart motif.

In 2018, the Time magazine chose it as one of the “most influential British royal wedding dresses of all time”. In July 2020, the former curator of Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibition Eleri Lynn stated that the dress is now “part of the private collection of the Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge”; this means that as ordinary spectators, we may never see it physically again.

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