Princess Di's Dress Stops Near Boston
By Jennifer DeMeritt
Long train running—Princess Di’s was the longest in royal history.
Royal watchers who’ve been in withdrawal since Kate Middleton’s marriage to Prince William can get a princess-size dose of British pomp and pageantry when “Diana: A Celebration” makes its only stop in the Boston area this fall. Sponsored by her estate, the exhibit honors the legacy of the late Diana, Princess of Wales (née Lady Diana Spencer) and includes mementoes from her childhood, family heirlooms, 28 of her designer dresses, a tiara gallery—and of course, her wedding gown, complete with its 25-foot train.
“It’s the most famous wedding dress in the world,” says Graeme Murton, one of only two official handlers permitted to touch the historic gown. “When she stepped out of that carriage, the train just kept coming and coming,” he continues, reminiscing about her spectacular 1981 wedding to Charles, Prince of Wales. The dress was created by Welsh designer David Emanuelle, and according to Murton, “Diana said, ‘I want a fairytale wedding dress.’” Clearly enamored of his subject matter, Murton brims over with little-known facts about this artifact. “It’s the longest royal wedding train in history. It needed to be so long because the wedding was in St. Paul’s, the largest cathedral in London. People think the dress must be so heavy, but the bulk is the tulle underneath—you can pick it up with your little finger.”
Visitors to the exhibit can swoon over Diana’s entire bridal regalia, including her diamond tiara, a Spencer family heirloom from the 18th century, and her royal wedding shoes, stamped on their soles with the letters C and D interlocked in a heart. Fashionistas will also love the display of 28 outfits from her couture wardrobe, which brought British designers such as Victor Edelstein, Murray Arbeid and Belville Sassoon into the international limelight.