Published On: Fri, Sep 27th, 2019

Princess Diana: Insider reveals royal was ‘insecure’ about this element of Palace life

During her life time, Diana was one of the most photographed women of the the 20th century.

“Diana could have worn a plastic sack … and looked great.”

“She had the canny knack of always getting it right.”

A style icon and fashion extraordinaire Princess Diana was known for her daring and risky fashion choices but before she became the trend-setter we know of today, she was insecure about an element of life at the palace.

In her early days, Diana’s clothing confidence was not immediately apparent.

Katie Nicholl, a Royal Correspondent for Vanity Fair said;  “When she was Lady Diana Spencer and was teaching little children in nursery, she was not this power house of fashion.

“She was pretty demure.

“I wouldn’t say fashionable in anyway.

“So much so that, that very first picture of Diana that was taken of her, holding a child outside the nursery she was photographed in a completely see through skirt.

“Much to her horror.

“That was how naive, I suppose Diana was when it came to her fashion choices.”

Diana’s fashion journey began in the early, 1981 – when the shy teenager went looking for the perfect outfit to announce her engagement to Prince Charles to the world. Diana and David Sassoon had not met yet, but the young royal knew she wanted to wear a Bellville Sassoon piece.

“Princess Diana, came to our shop one evening, about five o’clock and she was met by a rather intimidating [assistant], who asked her what she was looking for and Diana being a 19-year-old young girl wasn’t quite sure what she wanted.

“The [assistant] suggested it might be a good idea if she went to Harrods.”

Turned away from Bellville Sassoon, Diana embarked on a search for the right outfit for her engagement, later settling on a royal blue suit which complemented her eyes and accentuated her sapphire engagement ring.

“When my partner, Belinda Bellville and I heard, we were absolutely horrified to discover  that she didn’t recognise Lady Diana and had suggested to go to Harrods for the outfit.

“It then turned out that was the outfit that Diana would wear for the official photographs with Prince Charles on the announcement of her engagement.” said David.

Much later, Diana confessed to Ingrid Sewered, editor of Majesty Magazine that: “she hated the outfit she wore for her engagement photograph in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.”

Former editor-in-chief of ELLE magazine US, Eve Pollard added: “She did not look the way Diana looked ever after, very glamorous, very chic, everything sawn to fit her body.”

David Sassoon was not the only designer to have influence over Diana’s fashion choices in the early days. Up and coming designers the Emanuel’s were responsible for putting Diana on the social scene.

“She was introduced to [us] via Vogue magazine.

“Diana had ordered and worn several gowns by us,” said David Emanuel.

The black off-the-shoulder ball gown Diana wore to the first official joint engagement designed by The Emanuel’s, made the world sit up and take notice.

“The minute she got out the car, and as she got out of the car … there’s white heat, every flash in that street went off,” said Eve.

Katie Nicholls recalls: “It was such a statement dress, the royals don’t usually wear black unless they are in mourning, and here was Diana going for an evening event in a stunning black, floor length gown, taffeta silk, off-the-shoulder.

“Two quite big things in terms of royal dress statements and these two big ticks from the fashion brigade.

“That I think, was the moment the world woke up and thought – wow – look at Lady Diana.”

Speaking about the dress David Emanuel added: “The press immediately called it ‘THE black dress’.

“It caused a bit of a stir, because the very next morning the press office in Buckingham Palace rang me and said ‘Mr Emanuel you are responsible for the gown?’ – the world want’s to know.“

As Diana became confident and bolder, so did her fashion choices and she became a real royal fashion rebel and she will always be remembered for her unique style and flare.

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