Wearing gloves to protect the delicate fabric, curators in Sydney carefully unpacked the wedding gown of the late Princess Diana this week ahead of the opening Down Under of an exhibition in which it plays a central role.

The fairytale gown, which is covered in more than 10,000 mother-of-pearl sequins and features an eight-metre-long train, is part of Diana: A Celebration, a collection of Diana artefacts on loan from the Princess' family home of Althorp in Northamptonshire.

It will go on display at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum from September 29 to next May along with other items chronicling the life of Prince Charles' former wife, from her childhood years to her 1981 fairytale wedding and life as the Princess of Wales.

There are over 150 items of Diana memorabilia on in the collection, including treasured childhood possessions like photo albums, dance shoes, toys, letters and drawings, as well as rare home movies shot by her father. A glimpse into the Princess' personal style also comes in the form of 28 designer outfits, with gowns from Valentino, Chanel, Versace and Lacroix.

Photo: ©
Curators get to work unpacking the dress the late Princess wore at her 1981 nuptials to Prince Charles. The gown is the centrepiece of the travelling exhibition Diana: A CelebrationPhoto: © AFP
Photo: ©
The exhibition, which opens at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum on September 29, also features 28 of Diana's designer dresses, including creations by Valentino, Chanel, Versace and LacroixPhoto: © Rex