Remembering Princess Di & That Wedding Dress

Photo: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images.
It’s the 18th anniversary of Princess Diana’s passing, so what better occasion for a look back at the dress — you know, the royal wedding gown that predated the obsessive predictions about, and the fawning over, Kate Middleton’s gown in 2012. Earlier this month, 14 never-before-seen shots from Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ epic nuptials, taken by Lord Patrick Lichfield in 1981, hit the auction block (and were released online for Princess Di diehards to ogle). Lord Lichfield, a royal relative, was the only photographer allowed to shoot at Buckingham Palace post-wedding, and his shots, which provide some great angles of that insanely long (25-foot!) train, will be sold by RR Auction in Boston next month.

So, what happened to Elizabeth and David Emanuel, the once-married design talents behind Princess Di’s elaborate, excellently ’80s wedding gown? Elizabeth Emanuel announced plans last year to raise £750,000 ($1.15 million) via crowdfunding site Crowdcube for her fashion line, Art of Being, launched in 2010. Emanuel offered donors incentives including having a dress named for them, or taking tea with her and hearing the “enthralling story” of Princess Di’s gown. (Before that, she designed everything from airline uniforms to TV costumes.) Meanwhile, David Emanuel was on the British reality show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! back in 2013, and it’s unclear what he’s up to these days though his appearance on the show apparently made Elizabeth reconsider getting back together with her ex-husband (the couple split in 1990).

As for Elizabeth Emanuel’s Art of Being line, it’s unclear whether it took off with the speed and funding she’d hoped for. The line includes bridal, couture, and ready-to-wear, according to its site. (Check out the frothy numbers from her “Chocolat” collection, which were shown in May at the Miss USSR U.K. show.) A bride looking for a Princess Diana-esque gown may not get quite the same level of regality from one of Emanuel’s latest creations. But you do get bragging rights to having a dress designed by someone who designed the one for the People’s Princess, right?
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