Diana: Designing for a Princess


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In this elegant new display at Diana, Princess of Wales' former home of Kensington Palace, a piece from Diana's wardrobe complements original sketches created for her during the design process.

Diana's handwritten comments, added alongside her favourite designs, demonstrate the joy she found in fashion.

Currently on display

Evening Gown by Catherine Walker, 1987

The Princess wore this gown on a number of occasions, reflecting her different roles as a patron of the arts and charities, as an ambassador, and fashion icon.

Catherine Walker was one of the Princess’s most trusted designers. They worked together to refine Diana’s image, developing what Walker called her 'royal uniform'.

The fact the Princess wore this dress so many times would suggest it was one of her favourites.

Sketches by David Sassoon

David Sassoon was one of Diana, Princess of Wales' favourite designers. This collection of sketches charts the Princess's move from the romantic outfits of her marriage to the confident working wardrobe of her later life.

Designs include a sketch for her going away outfit, worn to board the train for her honeymoon in 1981, and a playful tuxedo-style evening dress worn in 1989.

Also among the display is an annotated sketch for a white chiffon maternity dress, which the Princess wore when pregnant with Prince William and then again with Prince Harry.

A pink evening gown from the wardrobe of Diana, Princess of Wales, on display in a gallery at Kensington Palace

There was a tremendous change from the shy little girl who I had initially dressed to this overtly glamorous woman. She was very charismatic as a person, not just because she was a princess. She had this caring quality. She had compassion.

David Sassoon

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