What Made Diana, Princess of Wales So Glamorous?

Diana, Princess of Wales, has climbed the ranks of the most glamorous women of all time in the two decades since her death. She’s entering the same kind of territory as Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe.

Diana was not always synonymous with glitz and glam. She was mostly depicted in the context of royalty. However, the princess developed a highly glamorous regal style over time.

Her untimely death sparked an unparalleled outpouring of grief as the public grieved their English Rose. She was famous for her marriage to Prince Charles and her selflessness and compassion. 

Let’s examine what made Diana, Princess of Wales, so glamorous, from her early days as a timid nursery school teacher to her later years as a confident and elegant Princess attending events in Versace, Catherine Walker, and Dior gowns.

Princess Diana’s Marriage to Prince Charles

The Prince and Princess of Wales with Nancy Reagan and Ronald Reagan in November 1985

Diana Frances Spencer was born as the fourth of five children on July 1, 1961, to John Spencer and his first wife, Frances. The Spencer family already had ties to the British Royal Family. Diana’s grandmothers served as ladies-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, and young Diana played with Princes Edward and Andrew while growing up in Park House on the Sandringham Estate.

However, the princess described her childhood as miserable and unsettled. After her father was given the title of Earl Spencer in 1975, the entire family relocated from Park House to Althorp, a majestic house.

When Diana was sixteen, she met Prince Charles, the Queen’s heir and eldest son. He was dating Sarah, her older sister, at the time. However, Charles had developed a serious interest in Diana by the summer of 1980.

Their friendship grew swiftly, and she was asked to spend a weekend sailing aboard the royal yacht Britannia and meet the Royal Family at Balmoral. After meeting Prince Philip, the Queen, and the Queen Mother, Charles courted Diana in London, and the two became engaged on February 6, 1981.

When she was presented as Prince Charles’ lover, the public and press fell in love with Diana. However, following their engagement, the attention she drew from a sometimes tumultuous media only grew. Every detail of her life was investigated, and she was followed everywhere she went.

A Style Icon

The Princess of Wales in Russia, 1995

Diana’s dress taste was one part of her life that the media focused on, and it appeared that Diana used her wardrobe to communicate with others around her at times. She adopted a very glamorous regal style for trips abroad, often paying respect to her hosts.

Catherine Walker designed a beautifully embroidered Mughal-inspired pink slubbed silk bolero dress and evening gown for a state visit to India in February 1992. Walker chose the colors of the needlework for the complex embroidery with great care since they needed to be enthusiastic to portray the country she was visiting. The Princess’ slimness and height were emphasized by the bodice’s long line with the dropped waistline, paired with the short boxy shape of the bolero, a method Catherine Walker frequently used in the garments she produced for her.

Diana was also aware of how she might improve her appearance via clothing. She would dress in bright, cheery colors to communicate warmth and approachability. When she visited blind people, she was known to dress in velvet so that when they stretched out to touch her, they would feel soft and warm.

The princess didn’t wear gloves because she enjoyed holding people’s hands. She would occasionally wear chunky jewelry so children could play with it, and she stopped wearing hats to children’s hospitals after a while because she claimed that you couldn’t embrace a child in a hat.

Diana’s journey from the shy “Sloane Ranger” who earned the nickname “Shy Di” to the regal, elegant woman whose confident presence at formal engagements made her the world’s most photographed woman was almost Cinderella-esque in terms of style.

She’s entering the same kind of territory as a fashion icon whose style is adored and imitated. At Newbridge Silverware’s Museum of Style Icons, Princess Diana’s engagement blouse, India dress, and “Revenge Dress” are all on permanent display.

Charitable Works

Diana and Luciano Pavarotti at the benefit concert Pavarotti & Friends for the Children of Bosnia in Modena, Italy, September 1995

The Princess and Prince of Wales divorced in 1996 after legally separating in December 1992. The press analyzed every aspect of their public appearances and body language for clues about their relationship’s state during this time.

Diana and the prince both briefed the press through acquaintances, blaming each other for the marriage’s demise. The public’s sympathy for Diana was strong, and their devotion for her was shown in the passionate public response to her death in a vehicle accident in Paris in August 1997.

Diana spent greater emphasis on philanthropic endeavors as she emerged from her husband’s shadow. She was able to console others after seeing her parents’ nasty divorce and experiencing the breakup of her marriage.

She then raised awareness about the international battle against landmines and ended discrimination against AIDS patients. She became connected with selfless commitment to the causes of pain and illness, much like a secular Mother Teresa of Calcutta with whom she built a connection.

The Famous Wedding Dress

Princess Diana wearing her wedding dress

The British royal family had a complicated relationship with glamour during the 20th century. It had dabbled in the movies, the press, and publicity, but it remained a unique institution, one that was theatrical, yes, but also respectable and a touch stodgy. Its mesmerization was more ceremonial than personal, and it was based on tradition and history.

As a result, Diana’s extravagant wedding gave her a traditional aura, that of a fairy-tale princess. The bride’s white silk gown added to the illusion with puffed sleeves, embroidered sequins and pearls, a nipped waist, and a 25-foot taffeta train. The wedding’s pomp and circumstance wowed not just the thousands who lined the streets leading up to St Paul’s but also the millions who read about it in the press or watched it on television.

Diana’s image changed over time as she grew more womanly, and the press discovered that using her image increased sales by a factor of ten. Designers fought to dress her, and magazines featured her style since women saw her as an inspiration.