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Princess Diana is luscious in lace in Princess Kate-style wedding dress and royal bridal tiara in unearthed photos

The late Princess of Wales was pictured in Washington with Prince Charles


Diana, Princess of Wales in a white lace dress and a tiara
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
5 April 2024
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Bridal white dresses and sparkling tiaras are not limited to royal weddings alone, just look at the late Princess Diana's outing in 1985 for proof.

The Princess of Wales, who had been married to then-Prince Charles for four years, made her first visit to the United States where she attended a dinner at the British Embassy in Washington with Vice President George Bush. 

Prince Charles  in a suit and Princess Diana in a white lace dress© Getty
Prince Charles and Princess Diana attended a dinner at the British Embassy in Washington D.C.

Instead of opting for a classic black evening gown, Diana stepped out in a gorgeous ivory lace dress by Murray Arbeid. The designer, who died from cancer in 2011, had previously joked that he didn't specifically venture into the bridal industry, but many items in his range could be made in white for brides-to-be. 

"There are enough pressures in life without having to put up with neurotic mothers of the bride, and there is no other kind," he told the Chicago Tribune in 1987.

WATCH: Look back at memorable moments from Prince William and Princess Kate's royal wedding

Despite his comments, Diana's dress wasn't dissimilar to the lace Alexander McQueen wedding dress worn by her future daughter-in-law Princess Kate, complete with a V-neck, a Victorian-style corset, padded hips and a full skirt. Meanwhile, Diana's featured a scalloped neckline, long sleeves and a drop waist, leading to a satin skirt.

Colour experts have previously discussed the symbolism behind wearing white with HELLO!.

Kate Middleton wearing a veil and a wedding dress looking over her shoulders© Pascal Le Segretain
Princess Kate wore a lace Alexander McQueen wedding dress

"Culturally speaking white is a symbol of purity, cleanliness, immaculacy and perfection, which is why it's the natural colour choice for bridal dresses, doctors' coats and seafarers," said Gabi Winters from Chromology.

Meanwhile, Colour Psychologist and Design Director Tash Bradley explained: "White means clarity of thought. To wear white, you've got to have a lot of confidence you know. You're not hiding anything – you want to show purity. If someone wears white, they're being, not minimalist, but it's very clean. It's very pure, it's very soft. It's a very brave move to put an all-white outfit on."

Diana, aged 24 at the time, wore her blonde hair curled, finished with the pearl-encrusted Lover's Knot Tiara. The late Queen Elizabeth II  inherited the tiara from her grandmother in 1953, and she reportedly loaned it to her daughter-in-law Diana for her wedding day in 1981.

The Princess of Wales in a pearl tiara and white dress© Shutterstock
The Princess of Wales often rocks the Lover's Knot tiara

While the royal bride chose to wear a family heirloom, the Spencer tiara, she was later spotted wearing the pearl tiara to post-wedding events – even though the weight reportedly gave her headaches. 

Now, it is regularly worn by Prince William's wife the Princess of Wales, who first stepped out in the headpiece in 2015. 

READ: Meghan Markle was the ultimate rule-breaking bride in 'relaxed' wedding snap

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