Princess Diana's wedding dress goes on display at London's Kensington Palace

Princes William and Harry gave their permission for their late mother's dress to be featured in the show

Princess Diana's wedding dress is going on public display for the first time in more than 25 years at new exhibition, Royal Style in the Making, which opens on Thursday.

The gown, which the late Princess Diana wore to marry Prince Charles at London's St Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981, was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. It will be on display at Kensington Palace, London, from Thursday until January 2.

It is on display with the princess's 7.6-metre sequin-encrusted train, which is the longest in British royal history to date.

To include the dress, along with other personal items of the late royal, Historic Royal Palaces had to seek permission from her sons, Princes William and Harry.

"The dress had to be something that was going to go down in history, but also something that Diana loved," designer Elizabeth Emanuel said in Diana: The Portrait, a 2004 book by Ros Coward.

"And we knew it was going to be at St Paul's, so it had to be something that would fill the aisle and be quite dramatic."

The wedding dress of Britain's Princess Diana is displayed during a media preview for the "Royal Style in the Making" exhibition at Kensington Palace in London, Wednesday, June 2, 2021. The exhibition, which opens to visitors on Thursday and runs until January 2, 2022, explores the intimate relationship between fashion designer and royal client. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
The wedding dress of Princess Diana is displayed in the Royal Style in the Making exhibition at Kensington Palace in London. AP Photo

The gown features a fitted bodice overlaid with panels of antique Carrickmacross lace, which originally belonged to Queen Mary, Prince Charles’s great-grandmother, and the veil boasts 10,000 mother-of-pearl sequins.

Also included in the exhibition are the pink David Sassoon dress and jacket that Princess Diana changed into later on her wedding day, as well as artefacts detailing the creation of her wedding dress.

The exhibition features pieces worn by other British royals, including the surviving toile for the 1937 coronation dress of the Queen Mother and a Georgian-style dress worn by Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, to a 1964 charity costume ball.

“Our summer exhibition will shine a spotlight on some of the greatest talents of British design, whose work has been instrumental in shaping the visual identity of the royal family across the 20th century,” said Matthew Storey, exhibition curator at Historic Royal Palaces.

“We’ll be exploring how the partnership between each designer and client worked and revealing the process behind the creation of a number of the most important couture commissions in royal history.

“While one of the highlights will undoubtedly be Diana, Princess of Wales’s show-stopping Emanuel-designed wedding dress – which goes on show at the palace for the first time in 25 years – we’ve got some real surprises up our sleeve for fashion fans.”

The exhibition will be closed on Thursday, July 1, on what would have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday.

Updated: June 2, 2021 05:47 PM

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