Literally everything you need to know about Princess Diana's wedding dress

princess diana wedding dress
(Image credit: © David Levenson)

The Princess Diana wedding dress will always be one of the most iconic wedding dresses in the world. Therefore, we've put together a guide on everything you need to know about it.

Princess Diana wedding dress designer:

The wedding gown was created by Welsh designer duo Elizabeth and David Emanuel, who were married at the time, though divorced in 1990. Elizabeth later told Vogue they had no strict brief for the dress, as the Princess trusted them to create the perfect gown.

'We had no guidelines or instructions, so we came up with this amazing, completely OTT gown that we knew would stand out on the steps of St Paul’s. It was all about drama and making Diana a fairytale princess,' she said.

How much is Princess Diana's wedding dress worth?

The dress was made of ivory taffeta and intricately embroidered with sequins, frilled lace and 10,000 pearls. The antique lace was her 'something old' and spun at a British silk farm, and also included a bit of lace that once belonged to Queen Mary. She had an 18ct gold horseshoe charm sewn inside the gown as good luck, as well as a blue ribbon for her 'something blue.' Her 'something borrowed' was the Spencer tiara, while the 'something new' was of course the dress.

While all these details theoretically mean the dress is priceless, it was valued at £151,000 at the time of the wedding (1981), which is now said to be more around the £200k mark.

Who paid for Princess Diana's wedding dress?

It's customary for the Royal Family to pay for the core aspects of a wedding, for example, the church service, the music, flowers, decorations, and the reception afterwards, and they have done so for Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's wedding.

The rest is usually footed by the bride herself or her family, so it's thought Diana's parents paid for her wedding dress, especially as she was young (only 19) at the time and wouldn't have been earning a huge salary.

Princess Diana wedding dress train length:

The train measured a whopping 25 feet, and coupled with the cathedral-length veil, it was a sight to behold and a true fairytale wedding dress.

How much did Princess Diana's wedding dress weigh?

The average wedding dress is said to weigh around 3kg, which is about 6lb, but we all know her dress wasn't your average one. The 10,000 pearls alone would be quite heavy, and while no exact weight has been revealed by the designers, some experts have placed it at around 20lb.

Why was Princess Diana's dress creased?

'Why was Princess Diana's wedding dress creased?' is unbelievably one of the most googled questions surrounding Diana's wedding dress. This is because, despite a rehearsal, the designers hadn’t factored in the fact that Diana would ride in the carriage with her father, or how big her dress had gotten, as the Princess apparently kept asking for a bigger train.

Who has Princess Diana's wedding dress?

Diana's wedding dress was displayed for a while at Althorp House, where she is buried, and it went on tour for a few years during the Diana: A Celebration exhibit, though it generally wasn’t part of the displays for long.

However, it is now privately owned by her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. This happened in 2014, as Princess Diana asked for her belongings to be given to them when they both turned 30.

From June 2021 to January 2022, Princess Diana's wedding dress did go on display again at Kensington Palace, as Prince Harry and Prince William both agreed for it to be shown to the public. It was part of an exhibition called Royal Style In The Making.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.