Princess Diana’s wedding dress, an ivory silk taffeta number with a 25-foot train, was envied by every fashion-conscious woman in 1981, when Diana wed Prince Charles. It was an ’80s extravaganza of puffy sleeves and layers of material that appeared to fill up the carriage in which she arrived at her wedding. However, it has now been revealed that Diana actually had two dresses for the occasion.
According to The Sun, there were two dresses made for Diana, and there was a very special reason for this. It appears the designers of the frock wanted the dress to be a complete surprise to viewers when Diana stepped out of her wedding carriage. As a result of this fear, they had two dresses designed, just in case the first one was leaked to the general public before the big event on July 29, 1981.
“At the time we wanted to make absolutely sure that the dress was a surprise,” one of the designers revealed to Marie Claire.
Designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel went to extravagant measures to keep the massive wedding dress a secret. In fact, the original design sketches for the wedding dress were ripped up as soon as they were shown to Diana, according to The Sun. This was just in case someone managed to catch a glimpse of the dress designs before it was even made.
So, what did Princess Diana’s second wedding dress look like?
If Diana’s dress details had been leaked prior to her wedding to Prince Charles, royal fans would have witnessed a much less extravagant outfit. While it still maintained the same structural design as the original, several key elements were missing.
The alternative wedding dress was still made from the same material as the original, which meant it would still have gotten crushed in the carriage – something that led to visible lines on the worn dress, according to Good Housekeeping.
However, the second wedding dress was missing the “now-signature antique lace,” according to The Sun. In addition, the 10,000 tiny mother-of-pearl sequins and pearls were not a part of the second dress. The ruffles featured around Diana’s neckline were also different from the original and now iconic dress.
It is also reported that Princess Diana never saw this alternative dress.
“We didn’t try it on Diana,” David Emanuel explained. “We never even discussed it. We wanted to make sure that we had something there; it was for our own peace of mind, really.”