Prince Harry and Prince William will soon receive a very meaningful memory of their mother, Princess Diana. On the occasion of Harry's 30th birthday on Sept. 15, he and his 32-year-old brother William are set to inherit their mother's iconic wedding dress, as detailed in Diana's will.
After Diana's shocking death at the age of 36 in 1997, her stunning bridal gown, along with other personal treasures, were put on display at Althorp, the Spencer family's 500-year-old estate in Northampton, England.
Last year, Diana's younger brother, the Earl Spencer, announced he would close the exhibit in 2014 in anticipation of the gown's departure. Spencer told the Telegraph in 2013 that Diana's will stipulated that her belongings be "looked after" by him until both sons turned 30, when the items would be handed over to his nephews.
Along with the wedding attire, the collection includes dresses, family jewelry, letters, and home movies. The memorabilia may go back on display at Kensington Palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live, and where Diana resided until her death.
When 20-year-old Diana Spencer married Prince Charles in 1981, the now-famous wedding dress matched the fairy-tale "wedding of the century." The white confection designed by British dress makers David and Elizabeth Emanuel included a 25-foot train, puffed sleeves, and 10,000 pearls and sequins. It was immediately knocked off and copied for years to come.
"Princess Diana's wedding dress was what dreams were made of at the time," NYC-based fashion stylist Robyn Victoria told Yahoo. "It gave the world a peek into the grandeur and splendor of royalty and it lived up to our imaginations. Everything about it was big and over the top, a theme that took flight in the 80s."
Similar to Diana's famous wedding design, Kate Middleton's bridal gown, created by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen in 2011, was viewed by millions and spawned immediate copies.
Middleton's satin-and-lace gown did go on display at Buckingham Palace following the nuptials, which apparently the Queen found "very creepy" because it was worn by a headless mannequin.
Since then, it's been kept at Kensington Palace. "The Duchess had it cleaned and it's packed away in a safe place," a royal aide told the U.K. Express in 2012. "There are no plans for it to go on tour; that's what she has decided. People have had a look and now she wants it for herself as a treasured memory."
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