I remember sitting enthralled in front of the television in July of 1981. My twins were three months old and, as I cared for them at home, I watched the royal wedding over and over. July 29, 1981, was the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, a wedding that was a truly global affair. I was just one of the 750 million people that watched worldwide, and the wedding began my fascination with Princess Diana.
Diana was just 20 years old when she married 32 year-old Charles in Saint Paul’s Cathedral. She was young when she was thrust into the international spotlight, but she handled her newfound fame with incredible poise. There are many ways in which she made an impact in England and worldwide, but for women across the globe, her most visible impact was in the world of fashion.
I own every book written about her fashion, and I believe that Diana led the return of truly feminine dressing. Her style was accessible to the average woman because she wore many off-the-rack dresses rather than having clothes made specifically for her. The gorgeous blue suit that she wore when she got engaged sold out instantly in department stores. She earned the nickname “The Sloan Ranger” because she shopped on England’s Sloan Street. As time passed and her roles changed she called upon designers in England to make her dressy clothes and hats. She single handedly pioneered the white stockings with dresses. And who can forget her iconic and feminine hairstyle? She was stylish and sophisticated, setting trends for women worldwide. She was the most photographed woman in the world and with good reason.
Diana not only dressed flawlessly, but pulled her outfits together with an incredible selection of heels, hats, and handbags. She wore her family’s pearls, inspiring many women to dust off their pearl necklaces and earrings. Her engagement ring was a sapphire surrounded by diamonds. When she debuted the stunning ring, women around the world began to wear engagement rings with colored gems, a trend that continues to this day.
Although Diana died tragically in 1997, her legacy still lives on today. I especially see glimpses of her in Kate, the wife of her son William. Few royalty in recent years have achieved the status of global fashion icon the way that Diana did. Her trademark style and class continue to inspire many women, myself included, to this day.
Did you watch the Royal Wedding?
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Princes Diana was not only beautiful, her very character was beautiful. Caring, interested in every single person she met, she was someone who had the highest standards.
I think she would be so proud of her boys, and delight in Kate and her grandchildren.
Princess Diana was a favorite at our house as well! Especially my mother’s, who was a wonderful seamstress herself. I can just imagine her creating a gown for Princess Di‼️ The closest we came was when her gowns, etc. were displayed at the Precious Moments Studio in Carthage, MO. After that it was never difficult to find a gift for my mother. Any Princess Diana book would do‼️
Thanks for finally talking about >Women I Admire: Princess Diana – The Ribbon in My Journal – Phyllis Hoffman DePiano <Loved it!
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I didn’t see the wedding, as I recall having to work the next morning, but friends and I did tour the Princess Diana Fashion Exhibition on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. We enjoyed a “package deal” that included our museum tickets and afternoon tea in the Queen Mary Tea Salon. What a lovely afternoon, and many, many artifacts and memorabilia from her life on display, as well as copies of the wedding gowns of Fergie and other royals, and a doll collection of 24″ (?) Diana dolls dressed in painstakingly detailed mini-reproductions.
The Queen is also an inspiration to me. My auntie bequeathed me her tea set, “Royal Bridal Gown,” dating from the Queen’s marriage to Prince Phillip in the 50’s. I find it wonderful that she so approves of Will and Kate!
Thank you for your observations and reminders…
Thank you Phyllis for reminding us all of the unique place in history that this icon created. I too, can remember watching Lady Diana Spencer make her way up the long stairway leading into Westminster Abbey, to become Diana, Princess of Wales. A moment in time! I always look forward to reading your posts.
I remember getting up at 4 a.m. to watch the wedding! I only have one book of her fashion. It was a sad day when she died. I loved her style and watching her with her children. Like you, I enjoy seeing Kate and her style which resembles Diana’s. Fun post today, as always!
I agree, a great post. I admired Diana and was a royal follower then and still am…love all things Diana and Kate.
I got up at 3:30 a.m. to watch every minute of the royal wedding. Diana was such a beautiful bride and the wedding was magical to me. She had such class and was so kind to everyone. I likewise watched every minute of coverage of her funeral. It was a very, very sad day.
the day of the wedding I went to work late so I could watch the wedding. i also save articles about Princess Diana. She was beautiful inside and out.
Princess Diana was a true lady. It is unfortunate her marriage toPrince Charles did not turn out better. Princess Diana’s sons have carried on her charities and interest in helping others.
I too have many Diana fashions books. I always enjoyed the latest magazines and photos of Diana showing off her style and elegance. It was a sad day 19 years ago when she died because style and fashion in general seemed to have die with her. Thank you for the remembrance.
I too was enthralled by her life and heritage given to her sons.She truly was the people’s princess. I hope they and their wives will carry on in her manner!
An inspiring lady! Such flair for fashion!
In October of the year she died, we were in Paris and right beside the “pont de l`Alma“
there were flowers and pictures of the Princess, notes, just like the previous weeks in England. This lady is still missed and loved today.
I loved the wedding, loved watching her lifestyle and fashion then the terrible news, I definitely cried many nights when she died in that automobile wreck. Glued to the television every day. I cherish my English Royal Princess Diana stamp collection I possess.
It contains every stamp ever made with her picture on it from every country around our world. Its absolutely awesome in an oversized album and I cherish it and the memories I have of her. She would be proud of her sons and grandchildren they are so precious….and her life lives on. Carmel
I was on a European study tour in England right before the royal wedding. The city was being cleaned of all the effects from the wars, the buildings were spotless and it was so exciting to be there and see the changes being made. I watched the wedding from my hotel in Italy… Diana was such a source of inspiration for so many people. She was royalty with exceptional grace and a loving connection to people of all walks of life around the globe.
What a beautiful tribute and amazing woman! I do recall watching parts of the wedding…I was working full time back then.
When her wedding gown and other beautiful clothes were featured at the Mall of America in a special display, a friend and I toured. It was breathtaking.
Always have had an intrigue with England and she has been a big part of that.
I will never forget watching snippets of her wedding to Prince Charles. I was working at the hospital and saw bits and pieces of the wedding in between patient care. She was such a beautiful bride and I am so sorry the marriage failed.
I was up early, as well, tending to my 1 year old, who’s birthday is July 1, as was Diana, Princess of Wales.
My Royal Wedding viewing began with Princess Anne’s wedding to Mark Phillips through to Prince William to Catherine Middleton.
I still have all my memorabilia of “the People’s Princess” and have her birth & death days noted on my calendar as I do with all those I care about. She was and continues to be an example of grace and dignity to all who have lived a broken “fairy tale”.
Thank you for remembering Diana.
I shed tears of joy when watching Princess Diana’s wedding and cried with sadness when watching her funeral. Her legacy continues to inspire women all over the world. I have a Princess Diana doll and a replica of her trunk with six of her famous outfits and accessories, including the dark blue velvet dress she wore when dancing with John Travolta. I also have a copy of her and Charles’ wedding glasses, rimmed in gold and fully inscribed with their titles, names and date of their wedding. Princess Diana, the Peoples Princess will live forever in our hearts. I am happy to see many of her beautiful qualities in Princess Kate.
Oh course I watched the wedding — one of those “I remember where I was moments”… I, too, have a small collection of English royal memorabilia.
It must be incredibly difficult to maintain one’s personal identity in such an intense spotlight.
I remember getting up at 4:30 to watch the wedding. My own wedding was only a couple of months later and my best friend got married a month after Diana. Needless to say we were wedding obsessed. We all hoped the fairytale would last. Alas only my marriage is still intact but I still believe in the fairytale. When Prince William married, my group of girlfriends celebrated at the English Tearoom in Covington, Louisiana. She was one of a kind.
I watched the wedding, and later the funeral, and everything in between on tv. What has stayed with me the most is that this beautiful, fashionable princess was not afraid to throw on a pair of capris and gym shoes and ‘get her hands dirty’. She went places and did things that no one of that status would do — held children with AIDS, advocated for land mine protection, backed so many charities because her heart just HAD to reach out! I see her sons living out her legacy with such pride. They, too, are hands-on and reaching out to make a difference. I’m so moved by Harry working with the recovering wounded to live life fully!
My son was 7mos old as I watched the wedding. It was magical. I loved the carriage. I followed her through out. She was just class. Her later life after the divorce she was still strong and held her own. Strength courage and grace and humility . The way she reached out to those of lesser fortune struck a strong cord in me. I’m so happy her boys were able to grow up without all the hoopla. So happy Prince William found Kate. What a beautiful family and testament to Diana in what she instilled in William in the short time she was with him. I hope Harry finds as good of a girl.
My Mom was in England at the time of th royal wedding….and began for me a collection of royal memorabilia. She stood in line for hours to view the royal wedding presents, and at 93 she still likes to tell me how she was served tea and biscuits as she waited!!!!
Today my collection continues with William, Kate and the prince and princess. The fairytale for Diana was not meant to be….but I hold hope that William and Kate will live the life of joy that Diana was meant to live.
I watched also. For some reason I was not at work that day. Was enchanted by Diana, still wonder what she would have done for our world today if still alive. She was an example for all .
It must have been so hard for her, at such a young age, to enter the limelight like that. Kate seems to be dealing with it pretty well, but then she is older than Diana was.
Like you, I was so fond of Diana, she truly exemplified all that was elegant and refined. Caring, kind and always a lady, Diana had a way apparently of making everyone she met feel special. I joined the rest of the world in mourning her death, and knew in my heart that she would have been so happy when her son married Kate, who is much like her. Lovely post!
Beautiful comments! I agree with you! It was inspiring to see her class!