The wedding between the future Princess Diana and Prince Charles on July 29, 1981—which was recently dramatized on the hit Netflix series The Crown—was a global event. An estimated 750 million people tuned into the broadcast; Britain declared their nuptials a national holiday.
It’s no surprise, then, that the gown worn by Diana is among the most famous bridal statements of all time. For the first time in years, admirers will soon be able to see it on widespread public display.
Diana’s onetime home of Kensington Palace in London has announced that the dress will go on display from June 3, 2021 to January 2, 2022 as part of its "Royal Style in the Making" exhibition. Previously, it had been viewable by the public at Diana’s childhood home of Althorp (which was the inspiration for the Bridgertons' ancestral home in Netflix's Bridgerton).
Although Diana brought the dress into public view, designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel were responsible for crafting a gown fit for a princess. The train was 25 feet, while the lace was made from Carrickmacross materials that belonged to Queen Mary, Diana’s great-grandmother. More than 10,000 pearls accentuated the dress. Details of the design were so closely guarded that journalists didn’t get a peek until the day of the ceremony, when they were handed a sealed envelope with information. The Emanuels even designed a back-up dress in case someone got wind of their preferred design early.
Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, inherited the dress in 2014. It has made appearances in various exhibitions globally over the years.
The dress will be viewable at Kensington Palace for anyone paying standard admission (£23, or about $32 for adults, £11.50 or $16 for kids 5 to 15 years old).
[h/t Marie Claire]