The whereabouts of Princess Diana’s backup wedding dress has remained a mystery for years. 

According to designer Elizabeth Emanuel, the missing dress is likely to “turn up in a bag one day”. 

The dress, which hasn’t been seen since the early 1980s, was created in case anything happened to the original ahead of Diana and Charles’ wedding day. 

It was also a foil against leaks, as Chloe Savage – a designer involved in the creation of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle’s wedding dresses – explained to Insider.

“It only takes one person to ruin the surprise. For a day like that, when it's going to be so big, you really do need an emergency backup in some format.”

Indeed, Emanuel and her now ex-husband David, who was commissioned to design Diana’s wedding dress, had to keep their creation tightly under wraps. Both of their mothers helped to sew the gown as they weren’t even allowed to hire extra seamstresses to work on it. 

The ivory silk taffeta dress featured 10,000 mother-of-pearl sequins and a 25 foot-long train trimmed with antique lace. Elizabeth Emanuel explained the inspiration behind it to the Daily Mail

“It was all about drama and making Diana a fairytale princess. The gown was typical of early '80s style – overblown, romantic, flouncy – but we had to get it right because we knew it would go down in history.”

The backup dress, however, wasn’t quite so elaborate. It was only ever “three-quarters finished” and didn’t feature any lace or embroidery. 

Recalling the second dress, Emanuel said

“I don’t know if we sold it or put it into storage. It was such a busy time. I’m sure it’ll turn up in a bag one day!”

Although Princess Diana wore the original dress to her wedding, not everything went quite according to plan. 

Emanuel admitted during ITV’s “Invitation to a Royal Wedding” programme that she was “horrified” when she saw Diana step out of her carriage. She said:

“We did know it would crease a bit, but when I saw her arrive at St Paul’s and saw the creasing I actually felt faint. I was horrified, really, because it was quite a lot of creasing. It was a lot more than we thought.”

She was still happy with the dress’s overall impression, though. She told Vogue

“It was like watching a butterfly coming out of its chrysalis. She looked radiant. I think it was a combination of Diana being an amazing person and it being such a happy, remarkable time. It will stay with us forever.”

In the years after Diana’s death, her dress was put on display at Althorp House in Northampton. But when Prince William and Harry both turned 30, many of their mother’s possessions were passed down to them, in accordance with her requests. 

As such, Prince Harry now owns the iconic ivory silk dress, while Prince William owns his mother’s engagement ring.

Who owns the backup dress is completely unknown.

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