July 31, 2018

People: The story behind Diana's wedding dress and her 23-inch waist

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The designer of the iconic bridal gown of the late Princess Diana reveals that the royal had lost a lot of weight before the wedding, but was never seen nervous.

As reported by People, fashion designer Elizabeth Emanuel was the woman behind the gorgeous wedding gown that Princess Diana wore at her royal wedding with Prince Charles.

The wedding had taken place in 1981, and yet, Emanuel seemed to recollect the pre-wedding phase and her impression of the young princess in great detail.

Emanuel revealed that Princess Diana had lost several pounds in the weeks that preceded her wedding. The designer added that such weight loss was common among brides-to-be and that she did not find anything abnormal about it.


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Despite the drastic weight loss, Emanuel stated that the princess looked beautiful. After losing quite a lot of 'puppy fat,' Princess Diana's waist size dropped from about 26 or 27 inches to 23 inches.

In Emanuel's view, getting slimmer helped Princess Diana beyond enhancing her looks. 

The designer stated that the then young girl portrayed more confidence in her gait, and it felt like she was mentally readying herself for the role of a member of the British monarchical family.


The princess-to-be was also very happy with the way she looked. Emanuel fondly narrated the first time she met with the 'Princess of the People'. The princess had initially called her over the phone.

However, Emanuel got the name of the caller wrong and did not realize that she was about to design a wedding dress for the most iconic woman of her time.

The royal bridal gown was a project that had been kept under wraps, Emanuel recalled. Back then, she and her husband David would work as a team.


Emanuel revealed that the duo was not given any guidelines or instructions about the type of gown that was needed, which made the project all the more interesting. One of the highlights of Princess Diana’s gown was the long train.

Emanuel revealed that she and David had decided to make the train as long as possible, keeping in mind the hugeness of St. Paul’s Cathedral where the ceremony was to take place.


When the wedding day arrived, Emanuel was surprised by how calm and composed the princess was, in contrast to the nervousness that her bridal grooming crew felt.

Emanuel remembered being tensed herself, worrying that the train would dramatically fall off.

Despite the probable discomfort of being pinned in multiple places, and despite all the attention, Princess Diana walked down the aisle with no qualms, carrying off the elaborately designed gown with utmost grace.


Emanuel shared that watching Princess Diana transform from a simple young girl to the most loved princess was like watching a butterfly taking form from a chrysalis and opening up to a new adventure.

Emanuel’s memories of Princess Diana is one among many such accounts shared by the late royal’s close friends and family members, which have been compiled in People and ABC’s upcoming collaborative 2-night special titled The Story of Diana.