One wedding dress is enough for most people. Not so for Lady Diana Spencer, who had two dresses and two pairs of shoes made for her big day.
Knowing that her wedding dress would generate world-wide interest, Diana asked designers Elizabeth and David Emmanuel to make another, similar version of her gown for wax museum Madame Tussauds. And while the dress that the future princess wore down the aisle in 1981 is currently on tour in the US, the replica was sold yesterday at auction for £48,000, or over $75,000, to a museum in Chile.
Crafted from the same specially made batch of English silk, this version had two small differences: The antique lace on the bodice front is similar but not identical to the lace used on the original, and the train and veil are around a third of the length of the original.
“I have sold a few of Diana’s dresses over the years, but this was special because it’s is the nearest I will ever get to auctioning the real thing,” said Kerry Taylor of Kerry Taylor Auctions in London. “The dress is magnificent, complete with the train, veil and tiara. It’s especially poignant when one looks back and sees how unhappy the marriage actually was, but the dress that signifies the hope that Diana had.”
Just in case Diana’s shoes got stained before her walk through St Paul’s Cathedral, cobbler Clive Shilton created an extra pair of wedding shoes, which were also sold at the auction to a private European buyer for £36,000, or over $56,000.
Created out of ivory satin, they are decorated with 542 individually hand-knotted mother of pearl sequins and 134 seed-pearl beads. The undersides are hand-painted in gold leaf with “CD” hearts and blossoms.
The sale marks the first payment that Shilton will receive for the shoes. Unhappy with the quoted price, Diana’s mother quibbled with the bill and never ended up paying.