With its 25ft train and 10,000 pearls, it became the most famous wedding dress in the world.
Now Elizabeth Emanuel, who designed Princess Diana’s wedding outfit, is imploring Princes William and Harry to put it on permanent display in Britain.
The outfit worn by Lady Diana Spencer at her nuptials to Prince Charles in 1981 had been in the possession of her brother, Earl Spencer, since her death in 1997.
Last month, he handed it over to the princes in accordance with his sister’s will, which stated that her belongings were to be ‘looked after’ by him until both of her sons turned 30.
On reaching his milestone birthday on September 15, Harry also received a £10 million inheritance from Diana.
‘I’m hoping and assuming that it will go on display at Kensington Palace, as so many people want to see the dress,’ says Elizabeth.
‘It’s ridiculous that the Diana dress was not in the recent V&A exhibition Wedding Dresses 1775-2104. They had to make do with a video instead.’
A Kensington Palace spokesman tells me: ‘The wedding dress and other items that were on display at the Althorp Estate have just been returned to the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
It is too early to say what the long-term plans will be for the wedding dress.’
The spokesman declines to comment on where the dress is presently being stored.
This won’t be the first time the dress has disappeared from public view.
It went absent from an exhibition of historical gowns at Kensington Palace state apartments around the time Diana’s break-up with Charles was made official.
William and Harry’s reluctance to put it on display may be owing to their unhappiness about the commercialisation of their mother’s death.
For two months every year, the dress was exhibited at Althorp, the family’s Northamptonshire estate, and then went on an American tour called Diana: A Celebration, featuring the bridal gown and 28 of her designer dresses.
This was widely regarded as a rather tawdry exercise, with the Princess’s clothes ending up as exhibits in U.S. shopping malls.
When TV actress Amanda Abbington racked up debts last year of £120,000 and was declared bankrupt, it was thought her partner and fellow Sherlock star Martin Freeman would bail her out.
But she insisted on resolving the matter herself. Now it emerges rather than lend a sympathetic ear, Freeman, who is worth £10 million, chastised her over her finances.
‘He had a massive go at me about my tax bill and it was very upsetting. But now it’s all gone to the Inland Revenue,’ she revealed at Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, where she won Best Supporting Actress.
‘We’ve been together for 14 years through thick and thin,’ Amanda, 40, explained. ‘I was declared bankrupt, but I came up fighting and I’m now discharged from bankruptcy. Of course, Martin wasn’t happy and he told me off, but he was right. I am lousy with money.’
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