Princess Diana was a true trailblazer, from her iconic style moments to her determination to be human, even abandoning the royal protocol of wearing gloves so she could have direct contact with people that she met. She later went on to stop wearing hats, famously saying, ‘You can’t cuddle a child in a hat.’
Unafraid to break royal protocol, Princess Diana was a real pioneer, with news emerging that she changed the way that royals gave birth forever.
It has been revealed that Princess Diana not only changed the practice of royal childbirth, she also changed the way they get married.
That’s right. A key detail from her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles – a royal first – actually turned into a tradition for future generations, with even Meghan Markle said to have following suit on her big day.
The big change? Two bridal bouquets.
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Shop like a royal with these favourite picks:
Barbour by ALEXACHUNG Carmen Waxed Cotton Jacket, £469, John Lewis
A Barbour jacket has long been a staple in royal wardrobes, and this sand-coloured Alexa Chung collab is a quintessential version. Sure, you might not wear it to go shooting like Prince Charles, but it’d make a solid new addition on your next countryside walk.
Superga 2843 Comflea Leather Leopard Print Trainers, £80, John Lewis
Supergas go way back where royals are concerned; in 1997, during a visit to Angola with the Red Cross, Princess Diana wore a pair of black 2750 Cotu Classics. Decades later, her daughter-in-law Kate Middleton has also been seen in the sneakers. This leather pair come in bright white, with the added addition of a flash of leopard on the heel.
Nano Montreal purse in deep toffee smooth, £295, DeMellier
This DeMellier bag – the Nano Montreal in deep toffee smooth – has been a firm fixture of Kate Middleton’s in 2021. She brought the miniature purse with her to a Hold Still event in May, and picked it up again in October during a visit to an addiction charity. Sure, you’re not going to fit your whole makeup bag in it, but it’s enough to fit your phone and your cards and it’s gorgeous, right?
Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra gold and onyx necklace, £6,650, Selfridges
So this is a total, special occasion, blow-out purchase. We know that. But ohmygoodness tell us it’s not perfect. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is known to be a fan of Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery – particularly the Alhambra range. With its signature clovers, this necklace is a total stunner and would compliment any little black dress.
Princess Diana had two identical bouquets at her St Paul’s wedding, featuring gardenias, stephanotis, odontolglossum orchid, lily of the valley, Earl Mountbatten roses, freesia, veronica, ivy, myrtle and trasdescantia.
‘We made two bouquets,’ the chief florist on the day, David Longman, explained in ITV’s Invitation to the Royal Wedding. ‘The first one had to be delivered at 8 o’clock to Buckingham Palace. We had a police escort motorcyclist who took us all through the city to the Palace. Then we came back, and by that time they had finished the second bouquet and back we went again.’
While Princess Diana was the first to set the trend, it has emerged that the decision actually came from the Queen, who told Diana to have two rather than one – and it’s all about practicality, stemming from a mix up that happened at the Queen’s own wedding to Prince Philip.
‘If we go back to the Queen’s wedding in 1947, when you look at the state photographs of all the bridesmaids and royal guests – there’s the Queen without a bouquet,’ David Longman explained. ‘It got lost, so in the middle of their honeymoon, they had to get dressed up again in their wedding clothes and my father had to provide another bouquet for those photographs.’
‘Now, it’s the tradition to make two bouquets so that doesn’t happen again,’ with Princess Diana breaking the mould.