Princess Diana’s live wedding dress malfunction ‘horrified’ royal designer – ‘Oh my God!’

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Fashion designer Elizabeth Emanuel recalled the moment of horror when she first saw Princess Diana’s dress as she arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral. The 1981 royal event had been one of the most highly-anticipated that year as Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, was set to marry 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer.

However, according to Ms Emanuel, Diana’s dress, which featured a seven-metre train, had “quite a lot of creasing.”

She admitted that when she and her husband David were designing the gown they anticipated it would “crease a bit”.

Speaking on ITV’s Invitation to the Royal Wedding, Ms Emanuel explained that the wardrobe malfunction left her “horrified”.

She said: “I was horrified, really, because it was quite a lot of creasing. It was a lot more than we thought.”

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In a 2017 Daily Mail interview, the couturier recalled a conversation she had with her husband amid the panic.

She said: “I remember whispering to David: ‘Oh my God, it’s creased.’ I thought, ‘We’ve got to straighten out that dress’.”

It had appeared the voluminous creation had less space than forecasted during the run-through as Diana’s father was also in the carriage on that day.

Ms Emanuel added: “In the tiny carriage, it had crumpled far more than we’d anticipated.

“We’d done a rehearsal, but not with her father, Earl Spencer, in the car, too — and he was quite a large man.

“It was a hot day, there was so much volume in the net and she was nervous, so she kept grabbing hold of it in her hands.

“Fortunately, we knew the fabric would pull out — that’s why we were there.”

But the designers managed to smooth out the gown with help from the bridesmaids as the world watched on.

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Ms Emanuel compared the “wonderful” moment Diana emerged from the carriage with the metamorphosis of a butterfly.

She said: “When she came out of that carriage, it was the most wonderful vision I’d ever seen. She looked like a butterfly emerging from her chrysalis, unfurling her wings and about to fly.

“It was so romantic. Oddly, the imperfections seemed to make her even more beautiful.”

The Emanuels also had the honour of attending the official wedding photoshoot with the royal couple and ensuring Diana’s dress looked perfect in photographs.

The iconic production took place on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with Lord Lichfield behind the camera.

Of the historic moment, Ms Emanuel said: “One of the most amazing things was watching the balcony scene from behind.

“It was a truly magical moment, being on the inside looking out as the crowds waved and cheered.”

Princess Diana later called the Emanuels to thank them again for making the gown for her special day.

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