Beauty & Style

The story behind Princess Diana’s iconic wedding dress

The story behind Princess Diana’s iconic wedding dress

Princess Diana’s wedding dress is considered till this day to be iconic. 

But the lavish gown that was embroidered with 10,000 pearls and featured frilled lace couldn’t have had the same impact without its covert understudy, created without Diana’s knowledge.

David Emanuel and his then-wife Elizabeth were given the honour to design the late Princess’s dress and tried their hardest to make sure it remained a secret.

But it proved to be extremely difficult with the media watching her every move.

So the Emanuels took extreme measures: Making a second dress for “peace of mind.”

"At the time we wanted to make absolutely sure that the dress was a surprise," David told People in 2018. "We didn't try it on Diana. We never even discussed it. We wanted to make sure that we had something there; it was for our own peace of mind, really."

The second dress was never completed, and much less lavish than the one Diana actually wore.

When the wedding day did finally come along, Diana's dress design had managed to remain a mystery, but the Emanuels were nervous all the same. "She was incredibly together and wasn’t panicking," Elizabeth Emanuel told People. "But I was really worried about all things that could possibly go wrong. We’d taken smelling salts, glucose tablets — what if she feels faint? What if she passes out? Spills something down her skirt? I had this kind of horror that maybe the train would drop off. We sewed her into things, we pinned her into things."

Luckily, all went well.