Remembering Diana

A Dress for Diana by David Emanuel and Elizabeth Emanuel

I have adored Princess Diana ever since I was a little girl and she was still Lady Diana Spencer. My wonderful mom indulged me back in 1981 by granting my wish to be awakened in the wee hours of the morning (I think it was 3 a.m.) to watch the Royal Wedding. (I was a geek even then: I remember taking notes.) And this beautiful book is all about the dress Diana wore that day. Authors David Emanuel and Elizabeth Emanuel were then very young designers, and Diana had met them when she decided to wear a blouse they had designed for her official engagement photo. When she chose them to design her wedding dress, they were launched onto the international scene. I remember the rumors that were recounted by reporters while we waited to see Diana appear in her wedding dress—that the dress might be pink, for example. The Emanuels went to great lengths to protect the secret of the dress’s design until the wedding day, and they succeeded. This book focuses on the design and assembly of the dress, and it is fascinating. Its only shortcoming, in my eyes, is that there are relatively few photos of Princess Diana on her wedding day. But this book is really about the months leading up to that day, so probably that’s not a fair critique. And besides, there are oodles of other books that provide great photos of the wedding day itself. A Dress for Diana is all about the behind-the-scenes preparations. And some of the close-up photos of the dress and the veil are breathtaking. This book makes me feel sad all over again that the world has lost the remarkable woman who awed us all that day.