Princess Diana's wedding gown will go on display for the first time in 25 years at Kensington Palace

By Heather Cichowski

Princess Diana's wedding dress is one of the most iconic wedding gowns of all time. Older royals fans will remember seeing the incredible puff-sleeve dress on television, or perhaps even in person, while younger fans will recognize it instantly from the countless photos from her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

And now some lucky fans will have the chance to see Diana's wedding gown in person for the first time in over 25 years, thanks to a new exhibition at Kensington Palace entitled "Royal Style in the Making."

Prince Harry and Prince William have agreed to loan their mother's wedding dress for the new Historic Royal Palaces exhibition, which will run from June 3, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022 in the newly restored Orangery at Kensington Palace.

The exhibition delves into the relationship between fashion designer and royal client, and also features never-been-seen items. Other must-see pieces include a very rare surviving toile, or mock-up dress, of the Queen Mother's 1937 coronation gown.

The wedding dress on display as part of an exhibition chronicling the life of Diana, Princess of Wales at Althorp, her ancestral home, in 1999. Photo: © Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images


Diana's iconic wedding gown was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel and crafted from ivory silk taffeta woven by Stephen Walters & Sons. The young bride's dress featured dramatic puff sleeves, a fitted waist and a full skirt.

Her something old was a square of Carrickmacross lace that dated back to Queen Mary and her something blue was a bow sewn into the waistband of the dramatic wedding gown.

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The People's Princess's wedding gown was previously displayed at Kensington Palace in 1995. It went on to be shown at Althorp House, her childhood home, in 1999. The dress even went on display at the Mall of America in the U.S. for a "Diana: A Celebration" exhibit in 2012.

From 2018 to 2019, Kensington Palace held the "Diana: Her Fashion Story" exhibition, which charted the evolution of Diana, Princess of Wales's style, but her wedding gown was not featured.

Princess Diana at St Paul's Cathedral in London during her marriage ceremony on July 29, 1981. Photo: © Hulton Archive/Getty Images

"Our summer exhibition at Kensington Palace will shine a spotlight on some of the greatest talents of British design, whose work has been instrumental in shaping the visual identity of the royal family across the 20th century," said Matthew Storey, the exhibition curator at Historic Royal Palaces.

"While one of the highlights will undoubtedly be Diana, Princess of Wales's show-stopping Emanuel-designed wedding dress – which goes on show at the palace for the first time in 25 years – we've got some real surprises up our sleeve for fashion fans."

It is meaningful to see Princess Diana's wedding dress go on display this year because July 1, 2021 would have been her 60th birthday. The late People's Princess will also be honoured with a famous English Heritage blue plaque this year. The plaque will go on display outside of the London apartment on Coleherne Court where she lived before marrying the Prince of Wales.

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