16 November 2020

How Princess Diana’s fashion in The Crown compares to real life

16 November 2020

With royal drama, fabulous outfits and a whole lot of intrigue, there’s a reason so many people are obsessed with The Crown.

Season four has just dropped on Netflix, and it introduces a new character: Diana, Princess of Wales.

Played by 24-year-old actor Emma Corrin, the series charts the early stages of her relationship with Prince Charles.

Considering Diana’s status as a fashion icon, the show’s costume designer Amy Roberts had her work cut out for her. Diana was just 19 when her engagement was announced in February 1981.

During a panel discussion for the Brooklyn Museum, Roberts said: “What I think is fantastic about The Crown is the journey of Diana from this kind of girl that’s not particularly fashion[able] and she’s shy, wearing these bobbly jumpers. It was so amazing to go from that and take her into this fantastic, streamlined, extraordinary woman.”

In the series, some of Corrin’s outfits are almost exact replicas of Diana’s most iconic ensembles, and others take inspiration from her style. Here’s how the on-screen clothes stack up against the royal’s real-life fashion…

In the pictures taken after announcing her engagement, Diana wore a blue skirt suit with a white pussy-bow blouse. The show nails this outfit, down to Corrin copying Diana’s coy pose, and showing off that impressive engagement ring.

Diana Spencer in 1981, and in the Crown

This is an example of the show taking inspiration from Princess Di’s style – namely her youthful penchant for chunky, colourful knitted jumpers.

Princess Diana wedding

One of the biggest moments in the series is, of course, Charles and Diana’s wedding; Roberts was under a lot of pressure to get the iconic dress right.

“We just had to be true to the spirit of that dress,” she has said. “That’s what I think we tried to do and not get all knotted up into the fear of it because it’s one of the most famous dresses, isn’t it? If you worry about it, you’re never going to leave the front door, so we just did it.”

It apparently took four people 600 hours to create the replica, complete with a 30 metre-long train.

Princess Diana at the Royal Opera House

In 1982 Diana attended an evening of ballet at the Royal Opera House wearing a red dress with silver polka dots. Corrin’s costume is incredibly similar, down to the thin spaghetti straps and delicately pleated tulle skirt.

Princess Diana

The fourth season of The Crown spans 1977 to 1990, and with ruffles, shiny material and a wide silver belt, this dress is a prime example of Diana’s Eighties style.

Princess Diana at the Elysee Palace in 1988

By 1988, Diana had grown into her style and was no longer afraid of making a statement – as reflected in this gown worn to a banquet at the Elysee Palace. The original – a white beaded dress with a matching bolero designed by Victor Edelstein – is the epitome of royal glamour.

The Crown series 4 is available to watch on Netflix now.

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