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King Charles is teaming up with a brand Princess Diana refused to wear, here's why

Princess Diana famously avoided wearing Chanel post-divorce


The Prince’s Foundation, which was founded by King Charles II, has partnered with Chanel to begin running an intensive embroidery programme for aspiring designers.

Recent university graduates will be able to apply for the 24-week course, known as the Metiers d’Arts education programme, which will be held at the King’s Highgrove home in Gloucestershire. Six students will be selected each year and awarded bursaries to help towards the cost of living.

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Diana didn't stop wearing the brand entirely, she was photographed in Chanel dresses and suits several times post-divorce, but avoided any obvious branding.

Why did Princess Diana not wear Chanel?

French fashion house Chanel was eschewed by Princess Diana after her divorce to Charles. Australian designer Jayson Brundson recounted his encounter with the late Princess Diana during her last visit to Australia in 1996, telling Harper's Bazaar. "She went back to her bedroom, and she came out holding like handfuls of shoes and bags and just dumped them all down on the couch. Then she said, 'what do you think?', so I went through them all and I found a pair of Chanel shoes, and I said, 'well these would look great with the Versace' and she said 'no, I can't wear linked Cs, the double C'.” He continued, "So I asked why, and she said, 'it's Camilla and Charles'. Then I saw she had some Guccis and I said they'd look great, and she said, 'alright, I'll wear the Gucci's’ and that was it."

Jayson clarified that Diana had worn Chanel many times in the past, but had become reluctant after the end of her marriage to Charles due to the vitriolic media attention. “I think they [the shoes] had gold linked Cs on them. And I think for photo optics, people would have honed in on that considering it was so fresh after the divorce as well… I don't think she had anything against Chanel, I mean few women do, but I think it was about the linked Cs and what it could stand for," he added.

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Princess Kate has donned Chanel on several official engagements.

The newly styled Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, on the other hand has been spotted in Chanel several times, and is a strong supporter of the French luxury maison. 

The Prince’s Foundation new programme began at the end of January and focuses on developing creative practice, skills and refinement. The applicants will benefit from the guidance of tutors who usually work from the le19M hub in Paris, which hosts workshops and a gallery space, alongside creative directors of other luxury fashion brands including Lesage, Atelier Montex and Lemarie.

“Building on The Prince’s Foundation’s excellence in education and training in fashion and textiles, this partnership with a global industry leader in Chanel is incredibly exciting for everyone associated with our charity,” explained Emily Cherrington, director of The Prince’s Foundation, “We are hopeful that, by allying our passion for sustainability and craft with the culture and expertise of Chanel and le19M, we will equip students with a wide range of creative and practical skills, geared towards high-end atelier studio practice.”

“We are delighted to be working with The Prince’s Foundation on this exciting educational partnership,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel SAS and le19M, “Our long-standing vision has been to nurture and develop the specialist skills of the Metiers d’art in order to recruit, train and transmit their savoir-faire to the next generation. Initiatives like this program are a way to highlight today’s relevance of these traditional metiers, ensuring they have a legitimate place in the creation of tomorrow. It also reaffirms our commitment to artisan skills, innovation, and sustainable development.”

The Prince’s Foundation’s education hub director, Daniel McAuliffe, added “Throughout the programme, there are opportunities for students to expand their creative process and presentation skills through contextual studies lectures, presentations and critiques. This practice-based learning encourages creativity, builds skill-confidence and prepares recent graduates to become artisan embroiderers of the future.”

The fellowship will focus on hand-embroidery and beading skills, providing students with access to studio space, expert tuition and materials.

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