Diana's wedding dress designer was 'horrified' when she saw it on TVJuly 29, 2023
Why the designer behind Princess Diana’s iconic wedding dress was left ‘horrified’ and ‘feeling faint’ when she saw Diana going into St Paul’s Cathedral
- Princess Diana’s wedding dress stunned the world when she wore it in 1981
- But designer Elizabeth Emanuel was left ‘horrified’ by its appearance on TV
- Read: Everything you need to know about Princess Diana’s wedding gown
It was a dress that left millions around the world in awe, inspiring a whole new generation of brides-to-be.
But the designer behind Princess Diana’s iconic wedding felt rather differently In fact she was left speechless and ‘feeling faint’ when she saw the dress on the big day.
Designers Elizabeth and David Emanuel were behind the antique lace and ivory silk taffeta gown Lady Diana Spencer wore as she walked down the aisle to meet Prince Charles.
The dress had taken months and months to prepare, with the designs being kept top secret until the wedding day on July 29 1981.
But as the wedding dress designers watched a then-20-year-old Diana walk to St Paul’s on the television, Elizabeth said she was ‘horrified’ on seeing how creased the dress had become.
Princess Diana’s famous wedding dress took months to design and cost thousands of pounds to make but when she walked up the stairs of St Paul’s on July 29 1981, the dress designers were ‘horrified’. Pictured: A formal portrait of Lady Diana Spencer in her wedding dress
Designers Elizabeth and David Emanuel were behind the antique lace and ivory silk taffeta gown Lady Diana Spencer wore as she walked down the aisle to meet Prince Charles. Pictured: The Prince and Princess of Wales leaving St Paul’s Cathedral following their wedding
As the designers watched Diana head up St Paul’s on the television, Elizabeth, pictured, said she was ‘horrified’ upon seeing how creased the dress had become
Speaking to ITV during the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back in 2018, Elizabeth said: ‘We did know it would crease a bit but when I saw her arrive at St Paul’s and we saw the creasing I actually felt faint.
‘I was horrified, really, because it was quite a lot of creasing. It was a lot more than we thought.’
The dress at the time was reported to have cost around £9,000, using six different fabrics and more than 10,000 peals in total.
The designers used 25 yards of silk taffeta, 100 yards of tulle crinoline and 150 yards of netting for the veil. A long 25 foot train of hand-embroidered silk was also attached.
In a bid to stop the dress from creasing before the actual ceremony, a different dress was used during the rehearsal.
In case of an emergency, the designing couple, who have since divorced, created a back-up dress.
David told People: ‘At the time we wanted to make absolutely sure that the dress was a surprise.
‘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.’
After the ceremony, Diana personally called the designers to thank them for their work on the dress.
David said: ‘After all the photographs, they went in to have the wedding breakfast and I went back to my studio in Mayfair. All of my workroom ladies were there so we had a glass of champagne.
‘We had a little party and just as I’m about to lock up, the phone rings. I thought who’s calling? It was Diana! She said ‘I just wanted to say thank you so much for the gown. I loved it. Prince Charles loved it. All the family loved it.”
He added: ‘It couldn’t have been more special for me to hear from the client. When you design for a bride you want her to be happy.
The Daily Mail’s coverage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding in 1981
Designers Elizabeth and David Emanuel (pictured) were behind the antique lace and ivory silk taffeta gown Lady Diana Spencer wore as she walked down the aisle to meet Prince Charles. Elizabeth and David have since divorced
It was not the only wedding dress disaster on the day – Princess Diana’s make-up artist spilled perfume over the dress creating a stain. Pictured: The Princess of Wales’ wedding dress on display in Kensington Palace back in 2021
‘As long as the bride is happy that is all that matters. The fact she took the time before she went off on honeymoon, that’s genuine kindness.’
It was not the only dress disaster on the day.
Diana’s makeup artist Barbara Daly, said she accidentally spilled Houbigant Paris Quelques Fleurs perfume all over the dress.
Despite trying to clean it off, the perfume left a large stain. As a result the Diana was forced to hold up the dress by the stained area in a bid to make it seem as though she was simply trying not to step on the long silk.
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