The royal wedding between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981 remains one of the most legendary moments in British history. The event was watched by millions of people around the world, and all eyes were on the bride’s dress, which became one of the most iconic and memorable bridal gowns of all time. Designed by husband-and-wife team David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the ivory taffeta gown was intricately embroidered with sequins, frilled lace, and 10,000 pearls and valued at an estimated $115,000. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the designers behind Princess Diana’s stunning wedding dress, their inspiration, and the making of this iconic piece of royal fashion.
Who are David and Elizabeth Emanuel?
David Emanuel (born 1952) and his then-wife Elizabeth Emanuel (born 1943) were British fashion designers who ran a successful fashion house in London in the 1980s. They were known for their glamorous evening wear, their love of intricate beading and embroidery, and their elaborate wedding gowns. Before they created Princess Diana’s wedding dress, the Emanuels had designed dresses for a number of high-profile clients, including Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand, and Joan Collins.
The Making of Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress
When it came to designing Princess Diana’s wedding dress, the Emanuels were given a strict set of guidelines from the Palace. The dress had to be elegant, timeless, suitable for a cathedral wedding, and of course, befitting of a royal bride. The designers decided to use ivory taffeta for the gown, a fabric that was woven in silk and had a crisp finish. They chose the color ivory to compliment the bride’s fair complexion, knowing that pure white would not suit her skin tone.
The dress had a high collar and a fitted bodice with a dramatic 25-foot train adorned with frilled lace. The intricate embroidery on the dress was inspired by historical motifs, and each flower and bead was individually sewn onto the fabric. The designers also added ruffles and bows to the dress to make it more feminine and give it a romantic feel. They even included a small horseshoe charm, made of 18-carat gold studded with white diamonds, on the underside of the dress as Diana’s something blue.
The dress was completed in a top-secret location, as the Emanuels were worried about the dress being leaked to the press. They made sure that only a small team of people was present during the making of the gown, and even locked the design sketches for the dress in a bank vault.
The Impact of Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress
The impact of Princess Diana’s wedding dress was immediate and far-reaching. It became perhaps the most famous wedding dress of all time, and its influence can still be seen in wedding fashion today. The dress has been imitated and interpreted in countless ways, with many brides choosing to replicate the iconic gown on their wedding day.
The Emanuels, who had previously been relatively unknown, quickly became household names, and their fashion house became a must-visit destination for high-society clients. However, the immense pressure and media scrutiny that came with designing the dress took its toll on their marriage, and David and Elizabeth eventually divorced in 1990.
Nevertheless, Princess Diana’s wedding dress remains a testament to the Emanuels’ skill and creativity as fashion designers. The gown perfectly captured the romantic, fairytale quality of Diana’s big day while remaining stylish and timeless. It was undoubtedly one of the most iconic pieces of fashion of the 20th century and remains a celebrated piece of royal and bridal fashion history.
How much did Princess Diana pay for her wedding dress?
Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles on July 29, 1981, was one of the most significant events of the 20th century, watched by millions of people worldwide. Her striking bridal gown became one of the most iconic fashion statements, cementing her status as a legendary style icon. The ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown was embroidered with 10,000 pearls and had a 25-foot train.
At the time, the estimated cost of the dress was approximately £9000, which was a considerable sum by any standard of time. However, when adjusted for inflation, this would be worth approximately £28,000, or upwards of AU$48,000 in today’s currency. While this may not seem like much compared to the hefty price tags of modern-day royal weddings, the cost was still significant in its time.
Moreover, Diana’s dress was not just a wedding garment but a symbol of a new era for the Royal Family. It represented a break from many years of traditional royal weddings before it, which tended to be more modest in style. It was an opportunity for the princess to showcase her fashion-forward sense of style, and she certainly didn’t disappoint.
The gown was designed by British fashion designer David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who were relatively unknown at the time. However, after the wedding, they became overnight sensations, and their designs were in high demand.
While the cost of Princess Diana’s wedding dress may not seem like a significant amount in today’s world, it was a considerable sum at the time. However, it was not just the dress’s cost that was significant, but its cultural significance as a symbol of a new era for the Royal Family and a testament to the creativity and skill of its designers. Even today, over three decades after the wedding, the dress remains one of the most iconic bridal looks in history, and its value is truly priceless.
Did Charles like Diana’s wedding dress?
When Princess Diana walked down the aisle to marry Prince Charles in 1981, one of the defining moments of the day was her wedding dress. An ivory silk gown with a 25-foot-long train, the creation by designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel has gone down in history as one of the most iconic bridal looks of all time. Diana looked stunning, and undeniably, the world fell in love with every single detail of her look. But did Prince Charles like it?
According to Diana herself, Prince Charles liked her dress. In fact, when Diana was asked by the designer of the dress, David Emanuel, if she knew how Prince Charles felt about the gown, she responded, “I just wanted to say thank you so much for the gown. I loved it. Prince Charles loved it.”
Even though they were on their way to a fairytale wedding, it is no secret that Charles and Diana’s relationship was often fraught, and it’s unlikely a dress would have been enough to entirely quell their issues. However, in the moment, it seemed that Diana’s choice of dress was a hit with her new husband.
In short, based on what Diana said of Charles’ reaction to her dress, it is safe to say that Prince Charles did like Diana’s wedding dress. The dress was bold, unique and unforgettable, and as with most royal wedding gowns, it made a grand statement. Despite the fact that Charles and Diana’s fairytale romance ended in tragedy, the memory of her stunning gown, and their wedding continues to endure, and captures the hearts of people around the world even today.
What did Camilla wear to Diana’s wedding?
Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ iconic wedding day in 1981 is considered one of the most celebrated nuptials in royal history. The ceremony was watched by millions of people worldwide, and most people know a lot of details about the event. One of the less well-known facts is what Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Queen Consort, wore to the wedding.
Camilla was then known as Camilla Shand and was already a friend of Prince Charles. However, their romantic connection was not evident at the time. Camilla was a guest at the wedding, and as such, the world was eager to know what she would be wearing.
On the day, Camilla wore a pale grey dress. Some people assumed that it was white as it was a light color, but it was, in fact, a different shade altogether. The detail about her outfit might not seem like a big deal until you consider that the nuptials occurred almost four decades ago when society was much more conservative. Back then, it was a rule of etiquette that guests shouldn’t upstage the bride. It was deemed inappropriate for guests to wear white or off-white unless explicitly instructed by the bride. So Camilla had to be careful not to draw attention to herself by wearing something too pale.
According to reports, Camilla’s outfit was designed by Robinson Valentine, who has worked with many royals over the years, including Princess Anne and Kate Middleton. The dress was made of silk and featured a pleated skirt and a fitted bodice. It was completed with a matching jacket and a hat designed by Philip Somerville.
Camilla wore a pale grey dress to Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles in 1981. The dress was designed by Robinson Valentine and included a pleated skirt and a fitted bodice, which she completed with a matching jacket and a hat by Philip Somerville. Although the color of the dress was quite subtle, it was deemed appropriate for the occasion, and Camilla managed to avoid upstaging the bride.