Princess Diana was the owner of one of the most famous wedding dresses in history – but she could have worn a different dress when she married Prince Charles in 1981.

It’s been revealed that Diana had commissioned a “back up” dress to wear in the event that her actual gown was leaked to the press ahead of her big day.

We can thank this striking Princess for our 80’s obsession with poofy wedding gowns. For darling Diana’s grandiose wedding to #PrinceCharles, designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel designed a dress that was equal parts contemporary and old school. The dress was crafted in secret, and made with over 10,000 pearls, which must’ve made for a very low stress sewing environment, I’m sure 😉 Perhaps most famous is the 25-foot train that swung out behind this frothy number like, well, a literal train. Rumor has it that the giant swath of fabric wasn’t accounted for when they hired the carriage that took Lady Di and her dad to the church, resulting in some *gasp* wrinkles. I can’t imagine the designers were too thrilled about this faux pas, given that over 750 MILLION folks tuned in to watch Diana walk down the aisle. Although given the sheer volume of that dang gown, it must’ve been more of a stagger than a waltz- talk about #cardiosesh, amiright? – – – – – – #princessdiana #princecharles #royalwedding #ladydi #dianaspencer #princessdi #princessdianawedding #royalwedding #bridalstyle #vintagebride #classicbride #elegantbride #vintagestyle #bridalstyle #weddinggown #weddingdress #vintageweddingdress #vintageweddingstyle

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But the standby dress was only three quarters finished. Designer Elizabeth Emanuel of Elizabeth and David Emanuel designs told The Daily Mail that they didn’t have time to make it in its entirety, so none of the embroidery or finishing touches were done.

And then the dress vanished – and nobody knows where it went.

“It was hanging up in the studio for a long time, and then it disappeared. I don’t know if we sold it or put it into storage,” she said.

She said that it was for their “own piece of mind” that a second dress was created for Diana, in the event something went pear-shaped at the last minute.

So while the real thing is missing, there are still sketches that remain of the mystery back-up dress.


Diana’s actual gown was made from ivory silk taffeta and decorated with lace, hand embroidery, sequins and 10,000 pearls. It had a 25-foot train of ivory taffeta and antique lace.