See Princess Diana’s wedding dress on display at Kensington Palace

·2-min read
Photo credit:  Anwar Hussein Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein Getty Images

Kensington Palace has once again opened its doors to fans with a new exhibition exploring the unique relationship between Royal client and dressmaker, illustrating how a successful partnership creates unforgettable style.

Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces - Bellville Sassoon
Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces - Bellville Sassoon

Titled Royal Style in the Making, the display features never-before-seen items from the Royal ceremonial dress collection alongside the gowns and archival pieces created by some of the most acclaimed Royal couturiers of the 20th century.

Photo credit: Royal Collection Trust
Photo credit: Royal Collection Trust

Comprising a treasure trove of historical artefacts, the pièce de resistance from the exhibition is without a doubt Princess Diana’s bridal dress, complete with its spectacular sequin-encrusted 25-foot train, which dramatically filled the aisle of St Paul’s Cathedral in 1981. On loan from her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, the gown features a fitted bodice overlaid at the centre at both the front and back with panels of antique Carrickmacross lace that had originally belonged to Queen Mary, the groom’s great-grandmother.

To bring the masterful creation to life, surviving items from the Emanuel studio will appear alongside the garment, from the working paper pattern used to cut each piece of fabric to the bolt of lace used to decorate the sleeves – as well as original Emanuel sketches for the Princess.

Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces - Bellville Sassoon
Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces - Bellville Sassoon

Other exciting highlights from the collection include an 18th-century ensemble designed for Princess Margaret by Oliver Messel, most well-known for his work on theatrical productions – and this is the first time the dress will be seen since its original outing in July 1964. Also making its first public appearance is an elegant floor-length black velvet evening gown created for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother by the legendary Royal designer Sir Norman Hartnell, which will be accompanied with work he submitted to both the Queen Mother and Her Majesty the Queen for approval.

Photo credit: Royal Collection Trust - 2nd Earl of Snowdon and Lady Sarah Chatto
Photo credit: Royal Collection Trust - 2nd Earl of Snowdon and Lady Sarah Chatto

The exhibition will offer viewers an intimate look into the private atelier of these artists and see how they were able to rise to the challenge and dream up designs that shaped the style of the Royal Family and positioned British fashion at the centre of the world stage.

Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces
Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces

‘Royal Style in the Making’ opens at Kensington Palace on 3 June.

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