Diana in Camera Shot !
It is complimentary for someone to photograph you but if it becomes a consistent barrage of cameras in your face
following your every move, the compliment soon wears thin and this was the case for Diana. Even before the official
engagement was announced, cameramen besieged "Lady Diana Spencer" and no protection against them was given to
her by the family she would soon be marrying into. Diana left alone to defend herself against powerful intrusiveness,
staking out the kindergarten where she worked, her apartment in Earls court and even the home of Mrs. Robertson,
the American diplomats wife whom she worked for as a part-time nanny to her son Patrick.
"H.R.H. Prince Charles" new girlfriend was hot stuff and she in her red mini metro was chased everywhere she went.
Diana's days of enjoying a private life ended in 1981. The press photographers took clear advantage of the naivety of
the nineteen year old in a shot that made front pages in all the tabloids. Taken at the kindergarten, Diana had agreed to
a photo if they would then leave as their presence was scaring the pupils in her charge, agreeing they realised that in
the bright sunlight it was clearly visible through her skirt that she was not wearing a slip! Encouraged to stand with her
back to its glare, cameras snapped and soon the people knew that Diana had shapely legs to be proud of but left Diana
herself feeling very foolish. Charles himself congratulating her on her shapely legs but adding a comment about her
needing to show them off to the world as if she'd done this intentionally !
On engagement to the prince things intensified, press cars following her everywhere only too eager for a shot of the
soon to be "Princess of Wales" and then future "Queen of England". Diana impressed everyone including the royals in
her ability to smile sweetly and remain cool, calm and collected with them, unaccustomed as she was to publicity, her
celebrity which only increased over the years had begun. It was a great bonus that Diana was photogenic, a natural
attractiveness blossoming into beauty day by day assuring her place as royal cover-girl. Diana herself said that she
was a product that sold well and was able to use the cameras that followed her to assist her in highlighting problems all
over the world, campaigns that she supported and which needed recognition but paparazzi following her both in the
U.K. and abroad often made her life hell, she likened their continual assault on her to being raped daily!
However Diana was someone the people of the world always enjoyed seeing and when exiting a limousine or entering
and leaving a function she would invariably pause for official and personal photographs to be taken of her, a price for
celebrity being you are constantly in the cameras lens and Diana became the worlds most photographed woman. Some
people making a hobby out of "Princess Watching", trailing her every movement knowing that a candid shot will see
them well paid and the most professional of these characters being the paparazzi who do not take consideration of the
emotional effect they might be having on their victim, waiting hours and hours sometimes for that one photograph.
Mark Saunders being a prime example of this, for this free-lance photographer, Diana was lucrative business, he
making a living from shots of her, he stalking "Kensington Palace" and the gym she used in Fulham and engaging in
endless car chases around London in pursuit of his target. A book featuring many of his photographs given the
appropriate title "Dicing with Di!"
For Diana many holidays were tainted by press helicopters hovering over her with their telescopic lenses and anything
she might say or do making instant headlines. Protective of her sons, Diana did her best to shelter them from the kind
of photographic abuse she had to cope with . However also the cameras were something that Diana herself used for
her personal benefit, an example being the candid shots of she and Dodi relaxing intimately together on the deck of his
yacht the "Jonikal" their last summer knowing full well photographs of the two of them together would certainly
assure them of world headlines and anger and frustration to her enemies but finding love and happiness throwing
caution to the wind! Much as her relationship with the media was a double-edged one, so too was that of the one she
engaged in with the camera lens.
The photographs of "Diana, Princess of Wales" now serve a special purpose in reminding us of the beautiful lady who
shared this world with us for all too short a time and who is ever unforgettable! Professional photographer " Mario
Testino " up front of two of the last ever photographs officially taken of "Diana, Princess of Wales", a series that her
boys say remind them of how they remember their Mother.
Diana, Queen of Style !
Diana first caught the people's attention in 1980 wearing a Laura Ashley skirt at work at a kindergarten in Kensington
posed by fleet street photographers so that with her back to the sun her splendid legs were exposed, later a source of
embarrassment to the new girlfriend of the "H.R.H. Prince of Wales" but illustrating that the 5 feet 10 inches " Lady
Diana Spencer " had a figure to be proud of.
Diana, a country girl, was intriguing and attractive but nobody knew that she'd become the beauty she blossomed to
be and the most photographed woman in the world! Diana was very much a " Sloane Ranger " in her style, the
customary uniform of upper - middle class girls, dark blue skirts and sweaters with a blouse and dark blue shoes and
matching tights occasionally favouring flowery Laura Ashley skirts and tops and jeans, in the evening a little black
dress or long skirt with ruffled blouse. Clothes suitable for her as a girl about town living in trendy Chelsea but not for
the "H.R.H. Princess of Wales."
The transformation began with her mother taking her to "Harrods", ironically the department store later owned by
Dodi's father, to buy the outfit that she'd be photographed in for the official engagement photographs with her prince
in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. The outfit chosen by her mother was conservative in styling, even being
described as matronly, was a blue suit designed by Cojana Cobalt and it was Diana's elder sister Jane who having
worked as an editorial assistant for fashion magazine " Vogue " who sought fashion and beauty experts who together
worked on transforming the fresh faced unsophisticated country girl to an uptown girl...tres, tres chic!
Everything changed from her make -up to her perfume to her hairstyle and colouring and especially her wardrobe.
For her first official engagement with her future husband Diana wore a stunning gown designed by the Emanuels, the
husband and wife designer team chosen to create her wedding gown in top secrecy. To Goldsmiths Hall in the capital
Diana wore the black gown and though she looked amazing, the uptown girl now a lady of style and panache the dress
itself had not been a choice warmly received by Charles, black for the royals being the colour of mourning and it's
being strapless and low cut considered by him to be far too revealing but the press of course loving it ! Frame by frame
shots of her taken stepping out of the official car and which made the front pages of all the following day tabloids, a
taste of things to come for the innocent and naive Diana.
In the early days designers favoured by her including Bruce Oldfield, Victor Edelstein, Jacques
Azagury and of course the designer of the dress she'd be buried in, Catherine Walker. Diana
wanted to be seen to be promoting the British fashion industry and particularly abroad, it was
also a diplomatic move on her part gaining her added admiration and support of the patriotic
British people. Prior to her death Diana also favouring the foreign fashion houses of by example,
Yves St. Laurent, Chanel, Escada, Moschino, Mondi and Versace. Diana looking particularly
stunning on her 36th birthday at London's Tate Gallery at a Gala in her honour wearing an elegant
black evening gown designed and gifted to her by Azagury which she complimented wearing an
emerald choker, bracelet and earrings. As has been spoken of elsewhere on her site the black
" Revenge Dress ", as it has become known,was worn to the " Serpentine Gallery " the night her
husband admitted his adultery with Camilla Parker - Bowles during a Tv interview. It was designed
by Christina Stambolian. It was the perfect choice and complimented by the famous choker of
pearls with large oval sapphire surrounded by two rows of diamonds, the jewelry piece worn so
often by Diana. The lady was a knock - out and next days headlines were shared with her unfaithful
Diana's fashion transformation went in stages. Initially so the newly - wed and albeit still very young "H.R.H.Princess
of Wales" main concern being to have enough clothes to do the job and not appear in the same outfit too often. Diana
often wore the same outfit more than once but it's having been altered in some way to make it appear different but it
was the safe era and gradually as her popularity increased and she became more confident, at least publicly, her style
became more experimental. Floaty glamour gowns, all extremely feminine,were worn by her but also dazzling styles
with one arm sleeved and one arm bare became a style favoured by her. Her hair highlighted more blonde, more chic,
and for the day her skirts becoming shorter.
This period reported as being the " Dynasty Di " era, a title she hated! In the middle 80's the U.K. having suffered
three years severe recession and mass unemployment her clothes became controversial appearing to be spending too
much on her personal apparel. In fact everything that Diana bought was purchased at cost price and Diana by example
not wishing to offend people on a tour of Italy and attending Milan's famous La Scala for a gala evening disappointed
her hosts wearing a pink chiffon gown by Victor Edelstein that she'd worn before in Canada. When Diana went abroad
on tours with her husband, and even without him, she was representing the Queen and country and so her outfits were
paid for by the Queen's Treasurer and from a special fund coming from the Civil List, this being money annually
awarded to the Monarch yearly to pay for upkeep, her hundreds of staff and all the members of the Royal Family who
carry out official duties on behalf of the kingdom.
Diana's private wardrobe, clothes not always worn by her publicly, were paid for by Prince Charles himself with
money from his estates including the Duchy of Cornwall which pays for maintenance of his homes, then being
Kensington Palace and Highgrove House ( Since separation and later divorce from Diana, his London home being St.
James Palace ), all his personal staff and the household bills. Expert attention had to be given to Diana's clothes in
order that whether she be collecting her children from school, out shopping, attending an official banquet or
appearing at a day charity event she looked immaculate as the cameras would be on her in force so every garment
sprayed and pressed whether it be worn for the day or an hour. Then packed into plastic bags and labelled with the
details of where and when last worn and after a garment was worn twice, dry - cleaned. The royal skirts usually
weighted at the hem so that in high winds decency is maintained, hats are equipped with a special device to stay on in
the wind, sleeves cannot be too tight or they might tear in the endless handshake routines and Diana favouring a small
clutch - bag so that it was easy for her to accept bouquets and shake hands. Diana preferred to buy her own
undergarments. For everyday wear she favoured Fenwicks in London's Bond Street for inexpensive bras and panties
but she also loved the pure silk and satin lingerie designed by Janet Reger as well as Italian and French underwear for
For Diana though clothes were not a priority, she liked bright colours and Charles liked her to look smart and she was
a terrrific clothes - horse for the promotion of British and later foreign designers ( publicly for charity later selling 79
dresses at an auction in the U.S.A.) and their creations and she set fashions that others followed. Diana's personally
most favoured designer, never failing to dress Diana at her best in a variety of styles, was Catherine Walker, a
Frenchwoman, who started her clothing company " Chelsea Design Company " in 1977 having taught herself to make
clothes as therapy for her when her husband died, each one elegant in its creation.
Diana favoured wearing them for her official public engagements so also embracing businesslike suit styles in pastel
shades, stylish sophistication that never failed to get her noticed wherever she might be in the world. Off duty Diana
would often wear a loose jumper and well fitted skirt or a smart blouse tucked into jeans, western - style boots and a
baseball cap. Diana, so feminine, also favoured dressing as one of the boys so in her wardrobe was the white tuxedo
worn with a white blouse, black trousers and a black satin bow tie, an outfit she wore to a rock concert in the U.K. and
her favoured designer Catherine Walker made her a black tuxedo with a fuschia - pink bow tie and cummerbund
which she wore sometimes together with a green silk waistcoat from Hackett, the London menswear shop. Diana also
of course wore a variety of uniforms over the years.
As Patron of British Red Cross Youth to attend functions with them a smart Red Cross navy blue beret, tunic and
skirt. Full combat dress whilst visiting "The Royal Hampshire Regiment" of which she was Colonel - in - Chief and for a
regimental dinner with them, outfitters " Gieves and Hawkes " of Saville Row made her a special scarlet mess jacket
and white waistcoat based on a regimental style which she wore with a black bow tie, black trousers and white blouse.
The jacket had yellow cuffs and yellow facings which had two of the regiment's " Hampshire rose " badges
embroidered in gold and silk thread on them. Catherine Walker also designed for Diana the white and gold military -
style "Majorette" outfit which Diana first wore in 1987 visiting Sandhurst Military Academy, where today her boys
William and Harry are training in military service.
On tour Diana liked to compliment her host so would emulate in her choice of wardrobe for her visit to that particular
nation's national colours. In Japan wearing a dress with the national symbol of the rising sun, to a naval base a sailor
hat, to an army base a military style jacket, every close attention paid to detail professionally and as Diana knew
instinctively gaining herself respect and popularity. Diana was often daring and saucy in her dresses but always
maintaining elegance, dresses often slit at the side or with a low cleavage and for relaxation chose figure- hugging
trousers with a thin sweater and perhaps a short leather bomber - style jacket.
Privately, and never seen publicly, Diana had lots of figure hugging dresses and trousers and would often not wear a
bra, was often barefooted but she also favoured sweat pants and a sweatshirt often with a logo, one for "Virgin
Atlantic" being one of her favourites. Whatever Diana wore, whether in the sunny Caribbean a revealing bikini
designed by "Gottex"or in Gstaad a trendy ski - suit or in Angola a crisp white gentleman's shirt and jeans, trendy
trouser suits about town, she was always making a fashion statement and headlines. No need of the dainty clutch bags
she'd been famous for , no longer suitable with no ladies-in-waiting at hand and needing to be practical, Diana
complimented her business suits with Chanel chain bags, a favourite by Versace, chunky Hermes Kelly bags so named
after her friend Princess Grace of Monaco ( Film actress Grace Kelly ). They met at Goldsmith's Hall on Diana's first
public appearance with Prince Charles following the announcement of their engagement. She oten used her regular
Tanner Krolle briefcase with her designer clutch bags strictly for nights out.
Diana, Princess of Wales, had distinct style, something the lady will be remembered for all over the world. The
Catherine Walker dress Diana was buried in was one until then unworn by her and selected by her faithful and loyal
butler Paul Burrell which he'd flown to Paris with to dress her, his final gesture for the "Princess"he'd adored. A knee
length black wrap - around dress with long sleeves and a collar and delicate belt. The front of it crossed over, forming
a V - neck , on her feet a pair of black pumps and in her hands across her chest, he placed the rosary that had been
given to her by Mother Teresa. The nurse who had assisted him telling that it was truly beautiful in its simplicity. The
designer herself remains respectfully silent.
During the 16 years that Princess Diana was a part of the British royal family, she commissioned clothing from many
designers, yet it was Catherine Walker, a self-taught designer, who was with her from the beginning to the end of her
royal life. A quiet woman who rarely grants interviews, Walker wrote of her experiences with the princess in her
self-titled book, "Catherine Walker" (Universe Publishing, 1998). A native of France, Catherine Walker first came to
Britain as a young woman. There, she fell in love with and married a British lawyer. They had two daughters and life
was good. Then an accident took the life of her husband, John, leaving her a young widow. Catherine was alone in a
foreign country with two babies to support. Although she had studied philosophy in France, she chose another path to
support herself. Catherine enjoyed making clothes for her girls, she made several children's outfits and peddled them
at nearby shops. Little by little, her business grew. Soon she was selling enough to open a small shop, the "Chelsea
Design Company". Then one day, Catherine Walker received a call that changed everything. It was the Princess of
Wales, asking her to design a maternity dress for her. That first order turned into a long line of business and a strong
working relationship with the princess.
Before Diana died in 1997, she had offered to write the foreword to Catherine Walker's autobiography. Instead, the
grieving designer wrote a dedication to Diana in the book. Catherine Walker's last dress for the princess was the
hardest commission of all, and it is one she never talks about. In a final tribute to Diana, Catherine Walker designed
the dress that the princess was buried in so not being as reported, one belonging to an ambassadors wife. Prince
Charles,having made it known on an interview that he always appreciates a lady who knows how to dress well and
complimenting his then wife Diana on her style. However as the marriage failed he made a point of criticism being
aimed at her dress sense ... In Japan in November 1990 Diana wore a tartan Catherine Walker outfit which Charles
said made her look like a "British Caledonian air Stewardess" and months later whilst together in Prague on an official
visit, though by this time sharing the hotel for public show but privately in different rooms on separate floors, when
Diana wore an off white suit with black buttons and a black handkerchief in the top pocket told her she looked liked
she'd just joined the mafia !