Princess Diana's Wedding Dress Designer Opens Up About Creating the Iconic Gown

"She was emerging into a new world, a new life’s adventure.”

Updated 08/02/17

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Princess Diana is widely regarded as one of the most celebrated brides of her generation. During her televised wedding to Prince Charles, which was viewed by over 750 million people all over the world, the young bride donned an awe-inspiring David and Elizabeth Emanuel gown. Noted for its famous train, the silk-and-taffeta gown took months to prepare. They did so in complete secrecy, even hiring security to keep Lady Di's gown away from the public eye. Now, Emanuel recalls Diana's transformation weeks before the nuptials, revealing to People that the bride-to-be lost a significant amount of "puppy fat" before the big day.

“Most brides do lose weight,” Emanuel revealed to the news source. “So we weren’t that worried when she did. She was looking fantastic. She ended up with a 23-inch waist from a 26- to 27- inch. She just walked more confidently. She just was suddenly growing up, you know? But I think she felt very good about how she looked.”

She continued, “She was just lovely, really kind of easy going. We never had any special instructions about how to make the wedding dress. That added a bit to the fun of it all, made it bit of an adventure.”

Having a televised wedding, let alone marrying a royal, would make any bride-to-be extremely nervous. Yet Diana was totally put together, watching TV while her jewel-encrusted tiara was placed on her head. “She was incredibly together and wasn’t panicking,” said Emanuel. “But I was really worried about all things that could possibly go wrong. We’d taken smelling salts, glucose tablets—what if she feels faint? What if she passes out? Spills something down her skirt?”

“It’s always been about a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis,” recalls Emanuel. “And that is her story, really. She was emerging into a new world, a new life’s adventure.”

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