Kensington Palace

Here’s Why Princess Diana Never Wore Hats on Her Visits with Children

Here’s Why Princess Diana Never Wore Hats on Her Visits with Children

Photo: Getty
The reason why Princess Diana didn’t wear a headpiece in her visits to children has been revealed, and it is a heartwarming one. Claudia Acott Williams, curator of Kensington Palace‘s new exhibition, Royal Style in the Making on June 3, stated the reason as “you can’t cuddle a child in a hat.”
According to Williams, the late Princess of Wales also abandoned the royal protocol of wearing gloves because she liked to hold hands when visiting people or shake hands and have direct contact.
The exhibition in the London palace, showcasing some of Princess Diana’s most memorable outfits to commemorate her passing 20 years later, features the sketch of a blue floral dress she wore when visiting children or hospitals. Designed by David Sassoon, it became known as her “caring dress” because she knew that children loved the bright, floral pattern. Williams adds that the Princess wore big costume jewelry because “she would pick children up and they would play with it.”
Photo: Getty
“She understood how what you were wearing could really convey warmth… it could reinforce hierarchy or it could undermine hierarchy and create more of a relationship,” says Williams.
Matthew Storey, curator at the Historic Royal Palaces, says that the example “really illustrates just how carefully she considered the people she would meet when selecting outfits for her many public engagements.”
Also included in the exhibition is Princess Diana’s wedding dress, loaned by her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, which is on public display for the first time in more than 25 years. The gown, which the late Princess Diana wore to marry Prince Charles at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981, was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. It has a fitted bodice overlaid with panels of antique Carrickmacross lace originally belonging to Queen Mary.
Photo: Getty
The dress is on display with the princess’s 7.6-meter sequin-encrusted train, which is the longest in British royal history to date.
The exhibition will be closed on Thursday, July 1, on what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday.
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Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress Will Go on Display for the First Time in Decades

Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress Will Go on Display for the First Time in Decades

Photo: Princess Diana Archive/ Getty Images
Diana, Princess Of Wales’s wedding dress is to go on display at Kensington Palace. The gown, worn by the 20-year-old Princess at her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, will be the crowning glory of a seven-month long exhibition, Royal Style in the Making, in the Orangery at the Princess of Wales’s former home. Forty years on from its debut, the silk-taffeta, puff-sleeve gown remains perhaps the most famous bridal gown of all time.

When will Princess Diana’s wedding dress go on display?
The wedding gown will go on display from 3 June 2021, and will be open to visitors until 2 January 2022, as a part of a collection of royal pieces – many never displayed in public before now – that illustrate the relationship between the monarchy and the couturiers who have shaped their wardrobes. The exhibition is set to “explore the unique relationship between fashion designer and royal client”, a statement from Historical Royal Palaces reads. “The exhibition will offer visitors a sneak peek into the rarefied world of the atelier, unpicking how some of Britain’s finest designers rose to the challenge of creating clothing destined for the world stage.” Other pieces displayed alongside the Princess of Wales’s dress are expected to include a toile made for Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother, for the 1937 coronation of King George VI, and pieces designed by courtier Madame Handley-Seymour for Queen Mary, the Queen’s paternal grandmother, in the early 20th century.
How can you see Princess Diana’s wedding gown?
Tickets for Royal Style in the Making are available to purchase now, and start at £23 for adults, with concessions available. The fee also covers access to other exhibitions taking place at the Palace, including the King and Queen’s state apartments.
When was Princess Diana’s wedding gown last on display?
Previously the dress, which boasts a 25-foot train embroidered with Carrickmacross lace originally belonging to Queen Mary, featured in a touring exhibition, Diana: A Celebration, before becoming part of a display at the Spencer family’s ancestral home, Althorp House, where she is buried.
Who owns Princess Diana’s wedding gown?
Following her death in 1997, the wedding gown was bequeathed to her sons, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, who have granted permission for its appearance 40 years after their parents married at St Paul’s Cathedral on 29 July 1981. It wasn’t until 2014, after Prince Harry’s 30th birthday, that it entered their estate on the Princess’s request, and it is believed to be her younger son’s. William received her Ceylon sapphire and diamond engagement ring, now worn by the Duchess of Cambridge.
Why is Princess Diana’s wedding dress going on display now?
The princess would have celebrated her 60th birthday on 1 July this year, and the exhibition of her wedding gown is one of a number of special arrangements scheduled to mark the milestone. It’s expected that her sons will reunite in the summer to unveil a statue of their late mother, created by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and commissioned on the 20th anniversary of her death in 2017, to be erected in the gardens of Kensington Palace.
Who designed Princess Diana’s dress?
Described by exhibition curator at Historic Royal Palaces as “show-stopping”, Diana’s dress was designed by former husband-and-wife duo, David and Elizabeth Emmanuel. Shrouded in secrecy at the time, the dress went on to shape bridal trends. “We had no guidelines or instructions, so we came up with this amazing, completely OTT gown that we knew would stand out on the steps of St Paul’s,” Elizabeth Emanuel told British Vogue in 2020.
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Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

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