Princess Diana’s ‘controversial dress’ which made ‘everyone go crazy’ on first outing

A pocket of society still 'reveres' Princess Diana says Ian Lloyd

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement in February 1981, sparking a media whirlwind across the world. The soon-to-be Princess of Wales was just 19 at the time and, as a recent documentary outlined, she needed help getting her attire right, now she was to be an official member of the Royal Family. After the announcement, Diana went to fashion designer Elizabeth Emanuel for a dress to wear for her first function with Charles since their engagement. Ms Emanuel spoke on a documentary, which aired on Channel 4 this week, entitled: ‘Diana: Queen of Style’, in which she delved into her time working with Diana.

She said: “In the beginning, when we first met Diana, I don’t think she really thought much about fashion.

“I think she enjoyed wearing clothes, but never really thought it through on the kind of things that would be appropriate for her to wear, all that kind of stuff.

“We were very young, obviously, and it was all new to us as well.

“We happened to have this black dress hanging on the rail, which was a sample, and she loved it, and we all thought ‘wow she looks great in it.

“But we didn’t know, at the time, that black was not a good colour to wear because it is usually reserved for funerals and things, but it was also quite low cut.

“When she wore that dress, everyone went crazy. It was a controversial outfit. It focused the eyes of all the fashion journalists at the time.

“I think from that moment on she realised the power, the vocabulary of clothes. And as the years went by she used that. She knew it could really create an effect.”

Although the outfit was an opinion splitter, the Emanuels were later called upon to design her wedding dress.

The dress wasn’t the only controversy surrounding the engagement.

During their interview for the announcement, a now-infamous moment occurred, one that made for uncomfortable viewing.

The couple were asked whether they were in love, to which Diana said “of course”, but Charles followed up with: “Whatever in love means.”

Diana later described their engagement interview as “ghastly” and said Charles’s infamous answer to being asked if they were in love “traumatised her”.

In Diana: In Her Own Words, she said: “We had this ghastly interview the day we announced our engagement.

“And this ridiculous [reporter] said, ‘Are you in love?’ I thought, what a thick question.

“So I said, ‘Yes, of course, we are,’ and Charles turned round and said, ‘Whatever love means.’

“And that threw me completely. I thought, what a strange answer. It traumatised me.”

Speaking in the 2019 Channel 5 documentary ‘Charles and Di: The Truth Behind Their Wedding’, royal biographer Christopher Wilson said: “He didn’t pick her up in his arms and embrace or do any of the things we might do when we propose marriage to the one that we love.

“He rang his mum, simply to say there, I’ve done it now. You’ve asked me to get married to somebody and I’ve fixed it.

“What he’d done was he’d finally found a wife.”

DON’T MISS
Stroke risk: The drink to make at home that slashes your risk [INSIGHT]
Lilibet christening: Charles bringing back bottles of Holy Water [ANALYSIS]
Camilla’s relationship with William and Harry: ‘Difficult’ [INSIGHT]

Speaking on the programme, royal expert Ingrid Seward explained that the big proposal was far from romantic.

She claimed that Diana actually started laughing when he asked the question.

She said: “She burst out laughing, I think that was probably her nerves.

“She didn’t think it was the most romantic of proposals but she had the proposal.”

Mr Wilson added: “She was completely bowled over by this, didn’t see it coming.”

Source: Read Full Article