Princess Diana 'identical replica' bridal gown and shoes sell at Kerry Taylor

Millions tuned in to watch the wedding this Spring of HRH Prince William to Kate Middleton - reminding many of that other Royal wedding between Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles in July, 1981.

On that occasion, Diana appeared at the steps of St Pauls Cathedral looking like a fairy tale Princess in her billowing, romantic Emanuel bridal gown.

Ongoing fascination with this definitive moment in Royal history has seen the average value of a Diana, Princess of Wales signed photo grow from £1,250 to £8,950 in the last 11 years - a rise in value of 616.0%.

We also receive more enquiries about our Princess Diana stock at Paul Fraser Collectibles in the wake of Will and Kate's Royal wedding. This period include our sale of 'one of the best signed Diana photos we've ever handled' and greater interest in our pieces like this signed Charles and Diana Christmas card (pictured).

This card signed by Princess Diana and Prince Charles during their marriage (with young Princes William and Harry pictured) is among the lower-priced pieces of the marriage for sale to collectors


The perennial appeal of Charles and Di isn't lost on Kerry Taylor Auctions either, whose upcoming sale on November 29 will offer two historically important lots relating to the marriage.

They are lot 179, the duplicate bridal shoes, designed and made by Clive Shilton, fitted to and worn by Princess Diana, 1981 (estimated at £50,000-70,000), and lot 180 The Emanuel replica of H.R.H. Princess Diana's bridal gown and related accessories, 1981.

'Completely identical in every respect...'

The latter lot was specially commissioned at Princess Diana's request for Madame Tussauds (estimated at £40,000-60,000).

"They were not made of glass but they were real Cinderella slippers," said Clive Shilton who designed and made the shoes for Princess Diana.

"We made the extra shoes just in case there was a mishap either during the final decorating processes or a mishap on the eve or morning of the wedding and another pair had to be delivered to the Princess at short notice. The two pairs of shoes were completely identical in every respect."

The exquisite shoes are made of ivory satin spangled 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 blossom which were painstakingly perfected by Clive Shilton.

The shoes were finished and delivered about a week before the wedding which took place on July 29, 1981.

They are sold with letters from Mrs Shand-Kydd, the bride's mother, Buckingham Palace and a letter of authenticity from Clive Shilton.

Clive remembers how Diana grew in poise in the months leading up to the wedding. At one of the last fittings, as she was about to leave the Emanuel's studio (which was by now surrounded by paparazzi and had a policeman permanently stationed outside the door).

He recalls: "Diana stood at the top of the stairs, took a deep breath, smiled broadly and said `Well let's hope I don't fall on my a***'!', before pushing her way through the thronging crowd amid a blaze of flash bulbs."

The only replica gown in existence...

Lot 180, the Madame Tussauds's replica bridal gown was made by the Emanuels (at the request of Princess Diana) at the time of the Royal wedding using the same toile, same fabrics and trimmings.



The duplicate Princess Diana bridal shoes (left); and Madame Tussauds's
replica bridal gown

There are two small differences however: the antique Carrickmacross lace on the bodice front is similar but not identical to Queen Mary's Carrickmacross lace used on the original gown and the train and veil are around a third of the length of the original.

This is the only contemporaneous replica gown in existence made by the Emanuels using the same materials as the original gown.

The sale also includes Madame Tussauds commissioned wedding dresses for Sophie, Countess of Wessex - lot 182 estimated at £1,500 -2,000, made by Samantha Shaw - and the sumptuous Linda Cierach gown made for Sarah, Duchess of York.

The latter has a lavishly embroidered train worked with bees, anchors and the initial A for Prince Andrew. It is estimated at £5,000-8,000.

Watch this space for more news on the sale.

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