Princess Diana’s wedding dress to go on display at Kensington Palace for first time in decades

Princess Diana’s wedding dress will go on display at Kensington Palace for the first time in more than 25 years.

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex have donated their mother’s full silk taffeta bridal gown to Historic Royal Palaces as part of a new temporary exhibition.

Royal Style In The Making will open on 3 June at the historic – and newly-restored – Orangery.

Exploring the "intimate relationship between fashion designer and royal client", the exhibition will showcase some of the most iconic couture, with Princess Diana’s wedding gown being the stand out piece.

The dress was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel for Diana’s wedding to the Prince of Wales in 1981.

Its gently scooped neckline and billowing sleeves are trimmed with bows and deep ruffles, a style popularised by the princess herself in the early 1980s.

The famous silhouette is characterised by the fitted bodice and layers of stiff net petticoats, making up the skirt.

Some 10,000 mother of pearl sequins adorn the ivory silk tulle, while the front and back are covered in panels of antique Carrickmacross lace which originally belonged to Queen Mary – Charles’s great grandmother.

Diana’s dress last went on show in 1995 at Kensington Palace, but was later displayed at her childhood home, Althorp.

The gown will feature alongside her 25ft sequin encrusted train – the longest in royal history.

Matthew Storey, exhibition curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said Royal Style In The Making will "shine a spotlight on some of the greatest talents of British design whose work have been instrumental in shaping the visual identity" of the 20th century monarchy.

He added that while Diana’s dress will be the showcase attraction, there will also be "some real surprises" for fashion fans.

The summer exhibition will display never-before-seen items including the rare surviving toile for the 1937 coronation dress of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

The toile is a full size working of the completed gown, which was created by London-based court designer Madame Handley-Seymour.

It features golden national emblems which embody continuity at the start of the unexpected reign of George VI, following the abdication of Edward VIII.

Royal Style In The Making will run from 3 June until 2 January 2022.

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