I Was A Bridesmaid In Princess Diana’s Wedding

I will always remember the moment I was asked to be one of Princess Diana’s bridesmaids. It was 1981. I was 13 and on holiday in the Bahamas. A call came through from His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, who is my godfather and second cousin. I was horrified. I was going to have to wear a dress. I was a tomboy from rural Oxfordshire, never out of jodhpurs. I had been a bridesmaid before, for the Duke of Westminster, Lord and Lady Romsey, and my nanny, and all had entailed awful dresses. Princess Diana’s Wedding

Princess Diana’s Wedding

But Charles was, and is, a remarkable godfather Princess Diana’s Wedding. I adored him and still do. My mother had been a bridesmaid for the future Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1947. So despite the dress, I glowed with pride to have been asked. But first, I had to practice. It was during these rehearsals that I got to know Diana, whom I first met at a dress fitting. She always seemed more like a head girl than a princess-in-waiting, with never a shy moment in private.

Princess Diana’s Wedding

“For each fitting, I would be secretly taken out from boarding school and driven to London, where we were rushed past the world’s photographers, lying in wait and ready to attack.” But I also saw glimpses of what hell it must have been to live besieged by the press. For each fitting, I would be secretly taken out from boarding school and driven to London, where we were rushed past the world’s photographers, lying in wait and ready to attack. The fittings took place inside the studio of designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel. Frill after frill, pin after pin, hour after hour, we stood silently as minions brought the Emanuels’ creations to life. Although I found all those petticoats, puffed sleeves, and bows hard to forgive, it was an intimate and informal time with Diana. Princess Diana’s Wedding

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Each bridesmaid had been chosen for personal reasons of the bride and groom. I knew most but was especially relieved to have the lovely Sarah Armstrong-Jones there (the queen’s 17-year-old niece) to guide us gently at the rehearsals, which were orchestrated by Buckingham Palace and slightly intimidating. Sarah and I were given the responsibility of Diana’s 25-foot-long train. Twenty-five feet was unheard of, record breaking, and a bloody nightmare. Manipulating that much taffeta and antique lace in and out of the small state carriages posed considerable complications. We practiced with a long dust cloth tied to Diana’s waist. She stood patiently as we were shown how to fold and unfold the fabric so it would glide effortlessly behind her. Princess Diana’s Wedding

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I Was A Bridesmaid In Princess Diana’s Wedding