Princess Diana's fashion on The Crown season 4: is it fact or fiction?


For this list, we'll be looking at the accuracy of Diana's outfits in the show such as whether they were worn for the right events or were indicative of her style during the different periods of her life.

"Fashion is such an integral part of Diana's journey. She goes from being a very normal girl with, you know, very average, I think, taste in clothes," says Emma Corrin who plays Diana on the show.

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10. Yellow overalls

Before becoming a world-renowned fashionista, Diana's outfits were not what one might consider chic. The yellow overalls Diana wears during a pivotal conversation between her and Prince Charles during the Badminton Horse Trials is inspired by an outfit she often wore in the summer of 1981. 

Emma Corrin called her early outfits "awful" but also said it was important to remind audiences that Diana was just an inexperienced young girl who was thrown in the deep end. It's not unusual for our fashion style to develop as we mature and we get a sense of that here. 

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9. The tux dress

Princess Di wore this stunning backless bottle green dress

during her photoshoot with Mario Testino in 1992, the same year she and her husband separated. While the dress was designed as royal dinner wear, its purpose in the final episode is starkly different. Wearing black in the British royal family is a huge faux pas unless it's while mourning, and yet, Princess Diana poses for a family Christmas family photo in a gorgeous black dress - which would be considered risqué anyway by royal standards. 

Costume designer Amy Roberts describes this move as "a moment where she starts putting on armour and fighting for survival in the royal family". 

8. Pink gingham pants and hot pink sweater

In 1986, Princess Dianna was photographed outside Highgrove house, the home she shared with Prince Charles and their two sons. In episode three we see Diana roller skating through Buckingham Palace in a very similar ensemble. While Diana's look showed her confidence through her bold colour choices, The Crown's designer seemed to opt for lighter tones - perhaps to indicate her youthfulness and inexperience.

In both instances, we're reminded that it's Diana's earthiness and relatable off-duty clothing choices that helped cement her reputation as The Peoples Princess. 

7. The Catherine Walker gown

Catherine Walker was the princess' go-to designer and is actually behind several of the outfit inspirations on this list. If you look at Diana's strapless chiffon dress and matching scarf from the 1987 Cannes Film Festival you might spot where it's being alluded to in episode nine.

As the Princess and Prince of Whales Royal Opera House to mark the occasion of Charles' birthday, the cut and material of Diana's dress is almost identical although the pattern is drastically different. We see a young and shy Diana dressed to impress as she starts to find her feet under the spotlight. 

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6. Diana's sweater collection

Despite having worn some of the most glamourous outfits imaginable, Diana off-duty sweater collection garnered a reputation of its own. The show sourced materials through vintage shops, antique fairs and costume hire houses to pay homage to Diana's fashion staple. 

The sweater they replicate to a T are the bold pink number with the llama motifs and the incredibly recognisable and still hugely popular black sheep sweater, with which she was completely besotted. If anyone was going to be able to take casual knitwear and turn it to a worldwide talking point, it could only be Princess Di. 

5. The stunning embroidered gown in New York

Diana's solo trip to New York in 1989 was her opportunity to show that she was so much more than a clothes horse as the U.S. media had branded her. It was a monumental visit but as she attends the royal gala at Brooklyn Academy of Music, she proved that fashion sense and compassion are not mutually exclusive. 

Amy decided to replicate this white, floor-length, embroidered gown and matching stole from her iconic trip. This look juxtaposes the glitz and glamour of the fairytale princess with the reality of the unhappy, scared and lonely young woman who's wearing it. 

4. The Australia and New Zealand tour

Using 17 different costumes, the episode explores a time in Diana's life where she's restrained by protocol but starting to find her own sense of fashion. During this trip she also discovers how loved she is outside of the royal family and her confidence begins to show.

The pays tribute to Diana's wardrobe while on tour with incredible accuracy whether she's climbing Le Roux, visiting the Sydney Opera House or meeting the Australian Prime Minister. Even her outfit while on a casual family picnic is instantly recognisable. While she was out stealing countless hearts her outfits continued to steal the spotlight. 

3. The blue/silver silk dress

Among those 17 costumes, there is one gown in particular that marks an important moment for the princes and her fictional counterpart. As she dances with Charles in Sydney, her blue and silver dress is emblematic of the happy fairytale believed they were living. In The Crown, this moment marks genuine happiness and two people who seem utterly in love. 

While normally her bold outfits mask her true feelings in this moment, however brief it might've lasted, Diana is living the fairytale that all the outsiders thought was real. 

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2. Her engagement dress

Ahead of their engagement in 1981, Diana visited the high-end Bellville Sassoon in a last-minute rush for the perfect outfit. Supposedly the fashion assistant didn't recognise her and suggested she go somewhere more budget-friendly. She ended up finding the now-instantly recognisable outfit off the rack at the world's famous Harrods. 

It's such a well documented moment that it only makes sense that The Crown would replicate it. Her choice of the blue skirt suit and necktie were considered a powerful statement in the 80s. Maybe this was indicative of the force Diana would become, even if she hadn't realised it yet. 

1. Her iconic wedding dress

While Diana's rehearsal dress is impressively accurate, the designers had no intention of creating a copy of her iconic wedding dress. There were 750 million people who watched the wedding so some accuracy was required. But ultimately they wanted to evoke the memories the first time the dress was revealed. They consulted with David Emanuel, one of the original dress' designers and even had the son of the actual lacemaker to recreate those elements too.

As we watch Emma Corrin walk away from the camera in that veil we could almost believe it's 1981 and we're actually watching Princess Diana.

What was your favourite Princess Diana fashion moment? Let us know in the comments.

Compiled by Phelokazi Mbude

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