Thursday, August 06, 2015

Royal Book Challenge: Diana Fashion Books - Part One

Within my collection, I have many books covering Diana's fashions throughout her royal life. Some of these books are short on text and follow a similar style so I have decided to divide the posts into parts, each post featuring a few books at a time. Just like her future daughter-in-law, Diana's fashions were covered just as avidly. Had the internet existed back then, Diana would definitely have had multiple blogs devoted to her style. There is no question that in the early years of her marriage, Diana was at her loveliest and most radiant. Her style choices may look dated today, but none of them take away from how dazzling she was in her early twenties.

From the Royal Heritage Series, the text for this book was written by Jane Owen. Published in 1983, it covers Diana's fashions primarily for the tour of Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Her style evolution to date is discussed in detail and estimates for the cost of her tour wardrobe are not surprising (£1,500 a week!). Little did anyone know that Kate would spend far more than that on a single outfit.

Covering Diana's 'sensational' fashions during her April 1985 tour of Italy, the 'inaccurate' estimates for the cost the (17 day) tour wardrobe have increased  to £100,000. Each tour stop outfit is discussed in detail, along with appropriateness of it and whether or not she had worn it before. The date for one tour stop, May 2, 1985 is particularly poignant given that her granddaughter Princess Charlotte would be born on that day 30 years later. At the very end of the book there are some charming photographs of the prince and princess with William and baby Harry aboard the Britannia.

Diana Princess of Wales: The Book of Fashion

Out of the three books, this one has the most photographs and the most details. At the very end you will find an detailed list of each outfit Diana wore from the day her engagement was announced to October 1983. Interspersed amongst the photographs are charming bits of information. For instance, Diana had 'springs' sewn into the brims of her hats to keep them on. During one event on the Canadian tour, Diana's plain-clothed police woman detective, kept her gun down the front of her dress. Photographs of Diana with clenched fists are not 'a sign of frustrated anger,' but to cover her fingernail biting habit. Also, Diana celebrated her 22nd birthday in Canada and amongst her gifts was a 30lb piece of iceberg, which the princess was said to be 'delighted with.' 

© Marilyn Braun 2015

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

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