LONDON, UK — The dress Diana, Princess of Wales, wore at her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles went on public display Thursday at the late princess's former home in London.
The taffeta-ruffled white dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, with its 25 foot (8 meter) sequin-encrusted train, helped seal the fairytale image of the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and the heir to the British throne.
Reality soon intruded. The couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, with both acknowledging extramarital affairs. Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 at the age of 36.
Her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, have loaned their mother's wedding dress for the exhibition “Royal Style in the Making.”
Along with the iconic dress, the exhibit also features sketches, photographs and gowns designed for three generations of royal women. It includes "rare surviving toile" from the coronation gown worn by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, consort of King George VI and mother of the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
"The toile is an extraordinary full-size working pattern of the completed gown, and features the stunning design for the embroidery hand-painted onto it, highlighting the attention to detail required in planning for such an important state occasion," Historic Royal Palaces said.
The exhibit opens on June 3. July 29 will mark 40 years since Diana and Charles wed. The exhibition runs until Jan. 2, 2022.