The Crown season 4: the story behind recreating Princess Diana’s wedding dress

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Hollie Richardson
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Princess Diana wedding dress.

David Emanuel, who designed Princess Diana’s wedding dress, has just shared his thoughts on the recreated version for season four of The Crown.

Princess Diana’s wedding dress is one of the most iconic dresses of all time

The David and Elizabeth Emanuel gown that she wore for her wedding to Prince Charles at St Paul’s Cathedral in London in 1981 sparked a wave of copycat designs. 

That’s why fans of Netflix’s The Crown recently got very excited at a first-look at Princess Diana actor, Emma Corrin, wearing a recreation of the dress for season four. 

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Diana’s dress was typical of the era, but it went one step further in every way. The elaborate embroidery featured 10,000 pearls and it had a record-breaking 25-foot train(!).

Diana had a blue ribbon stitched to the inside of her waistband to count for her ‘something blue’, and wore an 18th century-era tiara from her family’s heirloom collection as her ‘something borrowed’. 

Inside the back of the gown, the Emanuels fixed an 18-carat gold trinket studded with white diamonds to the label. 

Princess Diana wedding
The Crown: Princess Diana's real wedding dress in 1981.

To recreate the dress, costume designer Amy Roberts collaborated with original designer, David Emanuel. Although they didn’t have the original patterns, Emanuel talked the wardrobe team through the detail of many of the original drawings to help them create the gown.

Netflix says: “Four months and five fittings later, with three people spending a collective 600 hours working, they had a dress. It’s made of 95 metres of fabric and 100 metres of lace, with a train that is approximately 30 metres long.

“The Nottingham-based team who made the lace on the Emanuels’ original dress also made the lace for this one. Sadly the man who worked on the real-life dress passed away, but it’s his son who worked on the one you’ll see in The Crown.”

The result was such a success that fellow designer Elizabeth Emanual has just given it the seal of approval.

“The dress looks lovely,” Emanuel told People magazine. “They have done a great job in capturing the spirit of the wedding gown.“

She continued: “Emma Corrin looks wonderful in it. I’m a big fan of The Crown, it’s an amazing series and I’m looking forward to seeing it when it comes out.”

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We can’t wait to see it in all its glory when the new season drops on Netflix on 15 November. 

We’ll also get to see Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, with Olivia Colman returning as the Queen and Helena Bonham Carter stepping back into the shoes of Princess Margaret.

It’s going to be the perfect reason to stay in this autumn.

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Images: Netflix, Getty


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…