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Princess Diana's daredevil wedding guest outfit for brother Charles Spencer's whirlwind nuptials

The 9th Earl Spencer married his first wife Victoria just months after they started dating


Princess Diana looking over her shoulder in a grey coat© Princess Diana Archive
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
June 21, 2024
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Princess Diana may have been trying to keep the limelight on her brother Charles, 9th Earl Spencer on his wedding day, but the fashion icon couldn't help but spark a flurry of excitement over her outfit.

The late Princess of Wales was pictured at her former childhood home Althorp House for Charles and his first wife Victoria Aitken's whirlwind wedding in September 1989.

Princess Diana in a white dress and a grey coat under an umbrella with Charles and William© Tim Graham
Princess Diana wore a column dress in a daring white colour to Charles Spencer's wedding in 1989

Shielding from the wet UK weather under an umbrella, Diana didn't let the rain dampen her spirits as she stepped out in a bridal white fitted column dress that fell to her knees. A grey jacket with a buttoned waist and silver lining added a layer of warmth, while ivory heels, a grey and white hat and a classic pearl necklace perfectly coordinated with Diana's outfit.

Her young son Prince William looked cute in a smart blue jacket and yellow tie, while his brother Prince Harry was dressed in a cream frilly shirt and a red sash as he carried out his page boy duties.

Charles Spencer's wedding

charles spencer victoria engagement© Getty
The couple got engaged after 6 weeks of dating

Charles and Victoria had only been dating for six weeks when he proposed with a very unusual engagement ring.

A diamond and a ruby were shaped into two halves of a heart topped with a crown with mini diamonds around the outside. It looked almost identical to one formerly owned by Queen Elizabeth II's great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria

Model Victoria showed off her new rock as she posed for engagement photos at Althorp in July 1989, just two months before they tied the knot.

charles spencer victoria lockwood wedding
Charles and Victoria got married at Althorp

The bride wore a vintage champagne-coloured patterned wedding dress from Tomasz Starzewski with long sleeves, button detail down the front and a fur trim. Perhaps the unusual off-white hue of Victoria's dress was the reason Diana wore white – a colour normally off-limits for guests to prevent upstaging the bride.

Victoria accessorised with a flowing veil and the Spencer tiara – the same one Diana had worn at her wedding to King Charles in 1981.

Viscount Althorp and His Wife Victoria With Their First Baby Daughter, Kitty Eleanor Spencer, At St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London© Tim Graham
The former couple share four kids

Diana's brother and his first wife welcomed children Kitty, Eliza, Amelia and Louis before splitting in 1997. 

Charles went on to walk down the aisle another two times. He was married to Caroline Freud from 2001 to 2007, during which time he fathered children Edmund and Lara, and then to Karen Gorden from 2011 to 2024, with whom he shares a daughter called Charlotte. 

Earl Charles Spencer and Countess Karen Spencer attend day 3 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2015© Max Mumby/Indigo
The Earl recently split from his third wife

The Earl announced his split from the latter in June, telling the Mail On Sunday: "It is immensely sad. I just want to devote myself to all my children, and to my grandchildren, and I wish Karen every happiness in the future." 

Princess Diana's fashion influence

Princess Diana in a blue and white striped skirt suit with her brother-in-law Prince Edward© Princess Diana Archive
Princess Diana rocked stripes for the wedding of Sarah Brennan and Hugh Lyndsay

Despite being one of the most influential women in the world, Diana told ITN: "Fashion isn't my 'big thing' at all. Obviously if I'm helping the fashion industry and the British side of things, well that's marvellous. But I never try to do that". 

Like her two daughters-in-law the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex, Diana often caused a mass sell-out of her clothing following royal outings.

The People's Princess was never afraid to be experimental or rebellious with her style. Case in point, her Roland Klein striped navy and white skirt suit at Sarah Brennan and Hugh Lyndsay's wedding. 

She also chose another head-turning teal colour for her brother-in-law Prince Andrew's royal wedding with Sarah Ferguson. Diana stepped out in a blue satin gown with long sleeves and a black belt that matched the polka dot print.

DISCOVER: Princess Diana's wedding dress designer reveals 'very sexy' pre-wedding dress – exclusive photo

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