Princess Diana wore one of the most iconic wedding dresses of all time when she married Prince Charles in 1981. The gown, designed by former husband-and-wife duo David and Elizabeth Emanuel, was a frothy number featuring 10,000 pearls, detailed lace, and an epic 25-foot train. But there was also a second wedding dress that never saw the light of day. Here, we round up everything we know about Diana’s other gown.
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It was made in case the official dress was leaked or damaged.
Aside from creating the dress Diana wore down the aisle, the Emanuels also made an exact duplicate to be displayed at Madame Tussauds, and another dress as a backup in case the initial design was ruined or leaked to the public before the wedding day.
“At the time we wanted to make absolutely sure that the dress was a surprise,” David told People, as reported by Hello!. “We wanted to make sure that we had something there; it was for our own peace of mind, really.”
Diana never tried it on. She apparently didn’t even know about it.
“We didn’t try it on Diana. We never even discussed it,” David added to People.
“Unless I am having a brain seizure, trying on a second dress was the last thing Diana would have done,” Elizabeth told CBS News in 2005. She was so busy, we had to fit all our fittings around her schedule. There was absolutely no way she could have tried on that dress.”
The design was more toned down.
The alternate gown was simpler than Diana’s real wedding dress, but it was made of the same ivory silk taffeta and still featured ruffles around the neck, Hello! reports. It also included a deeper V neckline, shorter frilled sleeves, and a ball skirt with no lace hem, according to the Daily Mail. (Catch a glimpse of the design on People.)
It was never fully completed.
“It was only three-quarters finished — we simply didn’t have time to make it in its entirety, so none of the embroidery or finishing touches were done,” Elizabeth told Daily Mail.
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It reportedly vanished after the wedding.
“It was hanging up in the studio for a long time, and then it disappeared,” Elizabeth added to Daily Mail. “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!”
It was believed to be auctioned.
In 2005, auction house Cooper Owen claimed to sell a replica of Diana’s wedding gown for $90,000. The auctioneers said the princess had worn the dress, but the designers said she’d never worn or tried on a backup.
Photos showed that the dress for sale looked more similar to Diana’s real wedding gown with its lace details and rounder neckline, rather than the simpler alternate dress with a deeper neckline that the Emanuels made just in case.
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This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.