Princess Diana's Wedding Dress Secrets: Fake Clues, Hiccups and Hidden Touches by the Designers

Keeping Princess Diana's bridal gown a secret until the big day meant having a number of backup plans — find out the best-kept secrets from her big day

The wedding dress of Diana, Princess of Wales
Princess Diana. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage; Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
01 of 09

The Train Didn't Fit

Princess Diana
Princess Diana. Princess Diana Archive/Getty

Like a real-life fairy tale, Princess Diana arrived to her wedding ceremony to Prince Charles in a horse-drawn carriage. There was just one issue: the 25-foot train on her bridal gown didn't quite fit. The train had to be "folded like a bedsheet" to make it inside ... resulting in wrinkles as she entered St. Paul's Cathedral.

02 of 09

Designers Planted Fake Clues

princess diana
Princess Diana. Getty

Designers Elizabeth and David Emanuel knew details of Diana's wedding dress couldn't leak to the press before the big day. They would even create "false trails" by putting the wrong fabrics in the garbage for the press to find, according to Royal Style in the Making exhibit curator Matthew Storey.

03 of 09

Something Old, Something New...

princess diana
Princess Diana. Anwar Hussein/Getty

Keeping with tradition, Princess Diana wore something old (antique lace from Queen Mary), something new (the dress itself), something borrowed (the Spencer family tiara) and something blue (a bow inside the bodice).

04 of 09

There Was an Extra Dress Just in Case

Princess Of Wales
Fox Photos/Getty

The Emanuels were prepared for any scenario, even a wedding day accident. They created an extra skirt should something spill on the dress ... and even had an entire backup gown ready to be completed in case the design was leaked before the big day.

05 of 09

The Dress Wasn't White

princess diana
Princess Diana. Anwar Hussein/Getty

The silk taffeta of Diana's dress was specially woven and dyed ivory rather than pure white.

06 of 09

Diana's Dress Had to Be Altered

princess diana
Princess Diana. Anwar Hussein/Getty

Designer Elizabeth Emanuel has said that the young bride-to-be morphed as the weeks elapsed before her July 29, 1981, wedding to Prince Charles, losing a notable amount of the weight.

"Most brides do lose weight," Emanuel previously told PEOPLE. "So we weren't that worried when she did. She ended up with a 23-inch waist from a 26- to 27- inch."

Years later, Diana spoke publicly about her struggle with bulimia during the time of her wedding.

"The bulimia started the week after we got engaged (and would take nearly a decade to overcome)," Diana said in Andrew Morton's book, Diana: Her True Story — in Her Own Words.

"My husband [Prince Charles] put his hand on my waistline and said: 'Oh, a bit chubby here, aren't we?' and that triggered off something in me. And the Camilla thing," she said, referencing Charles' relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.

07 of 09

Diana Spilled Perfume on Her Gown

Prince Charles and Princess Diana wedding
Princess Diana and Prince Charles. Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Diana walked down the aisle of St. Paul's Cathedral wearing one of her favorite scents: Quelques Fleurs. But according to her makeup artist, it almost wore her.

Barbara Daly famously revealed that the young princess, then 20 years old, accidentally spilled some perfume on her dress as she tried to put some on her wrists after getting dressed in the world famous bridal gown.

According to Daly, she told her to simply hold that spot on her dress as she was walking to make it seem like she was lifting the front of her dress so she didn't step on it. She was even spotted trying to cover the spot where the perfume spilled with her hand as she approached the altar.

08 of 09

The Dress Featured a Secret Charm

Diana, Princess of Wales, in her bridal dress
Princess Diana. Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Although it wasn't visible in photographs, there was a hidden good luck charm in Diana's dress: an 18-carat gold horseshoe trinket studded with white diamonds.

09 of 09

The Unseen Umbrella

"Royal Style In The Making" Exhibition At Kensington Palace
Princess Diana's wedding dress. Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Emanuels created a parasol that matched her dress just in case the weather didn't cooperate.

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