Own a piece of royal wedding action

How could I not talk about one of the most famous brides in history: Diana, Princess of Wales. Her wedding was broadcast to an estimated global TV audience of 750 million. Brits had a national holiday to celebrate the coupling. The 20-year-old princess to be wore an Elizabeth Emmanuel designed, ivory taffeta and antique lace gown with a 25-foot train.

Now, Madame Tussauds of London, which displayed a copy of the dress after the wedding, is putting said copy up for auction. Apparently, there is a controversy brewing over whether Lady D. had the dress made as a space in case dress number 1 spontaneously combusted or was eaten by a royal hound. Some, like auctioneer Cooper Owen, say she tried on the copy on the morning of her wedding day.

Emanuel disputes this.

While the museum claims that the dress was a “spare” which Diana actually wore, Miss Emanuel insists the dress was only ever a copy made for public display and was never worn by Lady Diana Spencer.

A spokesman for the auction house, Cooper Owen, said the second dress was made in “case of any hiccup or disaster”.

However, Miss Emmanuel said: “Diana never tried the dress on, it was never a back-up dress. David and I were there, we didn’t let anybody else see the dress.

“Unless I am having a brain seizure, trying on a second dress was the last thing Diana would have done. She was so busy, we had to fit all our fittings around her schedule there was absolutely no way she could have tried on that dress. It was made particularly for Madame Tussauds.”

All that aside, I think this dress is a little…Martha Washington-y

11 Responses to “Own a piece of royal wedding action”

  1. Gigolo Kitty says:

    It looks like the dream dress for Anne of Green Gables.

  2. enygma says:

    At first, I thought it was a Victorian nightgown.

  3. Never teh Bride says:

    Nightgown, oh yeah. Though I will add that for the bride not so confident about her figure, it does provide full coverage.

  4. Megaera says:

    I was never a huge Lady D. fan (unlike my grandmother, who collected memorial tea tins.) I thought her style was excellent in comparison to the Windsor family, but that is damned with faint praise.

  5. gidget bananas says:

    I never liked that dress (when Diana wore it, the sleeves looked like they were about to eat her head). I’m happy to discover I’m not alone.

  6. monika says:

    It’s very 1830’s. With an appropriate hairdo, and little slippers, and of course gloves (and I think a bonnet in church, but I’m not sure) it would be lovely for a theme wedding. At least it looks like that in this picture. I can’t imagine Lady Di looked good in it though. Maybe it’s just that I’m a teen of the 90’s, but IMO, she never dressed well.

  7. Tania says:

    Because of that dress, brides throughout the ’80s, including my oldest sister, now must live knowing that they subjected themselves and their best friends to the horror of puffy taffeta sleeves in attempts to mimic the voluminous look of the Princess Diana.

    You’re right. It *is* very Martha Washington.

  8. mims says:

    I think it’s really 1600s. Cavalier era, kinda.

  9. La BellaDonna says:

    The Extra Bonus Points go to Mims, who is bang on the mark. My own wedding dress, worn the year before Princess Diana wore hers, was a Cavalier wedding dress, and there are very marked similarities in silhouette. Mine was gold-embroidered white velvet over white brocade, and did not wrinkle, unlike the gown worn by HRH; however, they both took up a considerable amount of acreage.

    Monika also merits a salute, since it would take very little effort to turn HRH’s dress into an 1830’s wedding gown, which it resembles much more closely than anything Martha Washington would have worn. (For a peek at a dress actually worn by Martha Washington’s sister, see Linda Baumgarten’s What Clothes Reveal:The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America: The Colonial Williamsburg Collection.) The general silhouette for the first three quarters of the 18th century is marked by a deep square neckline (not round), very form-fitting elbow-length sleeves (not full), ending in either cuffs or ruffles, a flat front (not curved over the bosom) and a V-shaped waist (not straight across), and an open robe over a visible petticoat (not closed all the way around). (This is a very general description of the hallmarks of a large majority of the dresses worn in the first three quarters of the century, so I beg ladies who specialize in 18thC clothing, do not castigate me for not mentioning court dress, riding habits, etc.) The 18th century provides some very pretty possibilities for the ladies who would like a wedding dress that combines a certain opulence with arm-coverage, and Ms. Baumgarten’s book is well worth a look on its own merits.

  10. This is me... says:

    I think that dress looked beautiful on her, like any thing else. The only reason it got wrinkled was because the coach they were riding as to small for the dress, the designer realised that later.

  11. Amy says:

    I think Diana’s dress was the most beautiful romantic dress I have ever seen. I am so sick of these horrid, boring plain wedding dresses of today, that aren’t bridal at all but all about sex appeal. Old fashioned dresses are classic and gorgeous, as they really knew how to make them. Every time I see Diana in her dress, I think she was just the most beautiful romantic bride. I think if some people had their way she would have worn some little slip dress. How boring, blah.