The Wedding Day Disaster Princess Diana Expertly Concealed Walking down the Aisle

Try as we might to make weddings go off without a hitch, hitches happen. Guests might make drunken toasts to the bride and groom or the weather may not cooperate at an outdoor ceremony.

The same goes for royal weddings. Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ 1981 wedding, deemed by some as the wedding of the century, looked every part the fairytale wedding but there were hitches on the big day.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles in carriage on wedding day in July of 1981.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana return to Buckingham Palace by carriage after their wedding, on July 29, 1981. She wears a wedding dress by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel and the Spencer family tiara. | Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

One, in particular, involved a disaster with Princess Diana’s now iconic wedding gown. Keep reading to learn how the princess handled the disaster like a professional.

Princess Diana’s wedding gown

Elizabeth and David Emanuel designed Princess Diana’s wedding gown, according to Reader’s Digest. Now one of the most famous wedding dresses in history, the dress included hand embroidery, 10,000 pearls, sequins, and lace bought at an auction.

Later identified as Carrickmacross lace, the lace the designers bought, hailed from the bodice of a gown dating back to Queen Mary. Then there’s the stunning 25-foot long train Diana topped off her gown with, not to mention the tiara and other jewels she wore.

Princess Diana's train
Lady Diana Spencer and her father Earl Spencer arrive at St Paul’s Cathedral on the day of her wedding to the Prince of Wales, 29th July 1981. | Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Even her shoes were elaborately made although they were barely visible beneath her wedding dress. The top of the shoes featured a heart and on the sole, shoemaker Clive Shilton painted a “C” and “D.”

“No one even saw the bottom of the shoes, but it was important to us that they looked fantastic. You would have seen much more of them if she’d tripped!” Shilton said according to Business Insider.

Princess Diana’s gown and train were left to her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry per the instructions in her will.

Perfume spilled on dress

Right before she walked down the aisle with the world watching, Princess Diana accidentally spilled perfume on her wedding gown.

Make-up artist Barbara Daly said that when the princess, then 20 years old, went to apply her favorite perfume, Quelques Fleursher, she spilled some on her gown.

At that moment Princess Diana could’ve had a Bridezilla level meltdown but she didn’t. She cooly covered the spot by lifting up that part of her dress. To the world, it looked as if she carried the dress to keep from tripping but in reality, she was concealing the spot where the perfume spilled.

Another hitch at the royal wedding

Two other hitches occurred at the royal wedding in July of 1981, while the royal couple exchanged vows. Princess Diana famously called Prince Charles by the wrong name, calling him “Philip Charles” instead of “Charles Phillip.” And when they were done with their vows, Prince Charles forgot to kiss the bride.

That’s how the tradition of kissing on the balcony at Buckingham Palace came to be. Prince Charles forgot to kiss Princess Diana at the end of the ceremony so they improvised by kissing at Buckingham Palace in front of onlookers and family, creating a new royal wedding tradition.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles kissing on Buckingham Palace balcony side by side comparison to Prince William and Kate Middleton kissing on same balcony.
Prince Charles kissing Diana during their wedding in London on July 29, 1981, and Prince William kissing his wife Kate Middleton on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011. | /AFP/Getty Images)

Their son Prince William followed the same tradition when he married Kate Middleton in 2011 but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle didn’t (learn why here).