Photos show how ‘The Crown’ re-created Princess Diana’s outfits, from her wedding dress to glamorous gowns

princess diana the crown real life outfits compared to emma corrin

  • Season four of "The Crown," which is available on Netflix, follows the royal family in the 1980s, including the marriage of Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) and Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor).
  • The latest season pays homage to many of Princess Diana's memorable fashion moments.
  • For example, Corrin wore a replica of Lady Di's bridal gown for the show's portrayal of the Prince and Princess of Wales' wedding in 1981.
  • Corrin resembled Princess Diana in outfits inspired by her royal tour in 1983 and other ensembles she was photographed wearing throughout the '80s.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The late Princess Diana is remembered in many ways — as a loving mother to her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry; a philanthropist; and an '80s and '90s style icon, whose fashion sense has transcended decades.

Season four of "The Crown," which is available on Netflix, follows the marriage of Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) and Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor), and scratches the surface of how a young Lady Diana Spencer would later become known as "The People's Princess."

The latest season of "The Crown" also shows the evolution of Princess Diana's style — from the pastel outfits she often wore in her younger years to her royal tour wardrobe and red-carpet gowns.

Here's how the show's producers, costume director, and hair and makeup designer replicated many of Princess Diana's memorable outfits.

The show emulated a pair of pastel yellow overalls and a floral top worn by Princess Diana.

In a scene of "The Crown," a young Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) runs into Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) after the Badminton Horse Trials — an equestrian event where Princess Anne competed — wearing a pair of overalls that seem to be inspired by an outfit Princess Diana was pictured wearing in 1981.

Suzanne Mackie, the show's executive producer, said in a statement obtained by Insider that costume designer Amy Roberts was inspired by Princess Diana's style from her years prior to becoming a member of the royal family. 

"Amy really went to town with Diana's younger looks, you know, the Diana before she became the Versace Diana, the Diana before she became the absolute fashion icon that she came to be," Mackie said. "This is the slightly more innocent Diana who would wear bright woolen, almost home-knitted jumpers, bright pinks, and yellows." 

"The Crown" created a mirror image of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's famous engagement photo.

For the couple's engagement photo in 1981, then-Lady Diana Spencer bought the blue suit herself from Harrod's department store.

"The Crown" not only emulated the couple's pose and the blue ensemble worn by Lady Di — but Corrin also wore a replica of the future princess' engagement ring.

In real life, Princess Diana picked out the diamond-surrounded, 12-carat sapphire ring herself from a House of Garrad catalog.

Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010 with Princess Diana's sapphire ring. 

Actress Emma Corrin wore a replica of Princess Diana's wedding gown, and it included many of the same details as the original.

For her wedding to Prince Charles on July 29, 1981, at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Princess Diana wore an ivory silk gown by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. The gown's most memorable feature was its 25-foot-long train — the longest train of any British royal bridal gown.

"The Crown" costume designers emulated the details of Princess Diana's real wedding gown, including the dramatic train, voluminous sleeves, and bow detailing.

"I remember watching the wedding and thinking, 'Oh, that's a very big dress,'" Mackie said. "But there was something about seeing it on Emma. There is something brilliant about seeing the back of her and the back of that dress that is more powerful, weirdly, than seeing the front. It is as if she is walking away from us, you know, it's quite haunting."

"The Crown" also re-created a hot-pink outfit that Princess Diana was pictured wearing in the 1980s.

Princess Diana was pictured wearing the pink outfit around 1986 outside the Highgrove House — which was her main residence with Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry in Gloucestershire, England.

For a scene in season four of "The Crown" that showed a young Lady Diana Spencer roller skating in Buckingham Palace, the show's designers styled Corrin in a similar outfit, including a pair of lighter-pink checkered pants and a magenta sweater layered over a white shirt.

Corrin channeled Princess Diana in the early '80s while wearing a glittery red spaghetti-strap gown.

Another scene from the latest season of "The Crown" shows Corrin as Princess Diana in a red dress with a sweetheart neckline and glitter detailing. The outfit seemed to draw inspiration from a gown that the Princess of Wales was pictured wearing on multiple occasions, including to the premiere of the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only" in 1981 — when she was still a royal fiancée — and around 1982 to an event at the Royal Opera House.

For the scene in "The Crown," Corrin wore a diamond necklace similar to one Princess Diana owned, a tiara, and a badge that represents the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II.

"The Crown" paid homage to many of Princess Diana's outfits from her Australian royal tour, including this monochromatic blue ensemble.

Roberts, the show's costume designer, said in a statement obtained by Insider that re-creating outfits worn by Princess Diana during her tour of Australia with Prince Charles proved to be a challenge.

"The dresses Diana wore here were so specific to the '80s in terms of the particular weight of the fabrics, which were mainly silks, and therefore how they drape on the body," Roberts said. "The specificity of those particular fabrics was harder to source in contemporary fabric shops."

Corrin's ruffled blue dress looked strikingly similar to the one Princess Diana wore during her royal tour of Australia.

Many of the '80s-inspired pieces worn by Corrin in scenes portraying the couple's Australian tour — such as this turquoise dress — were found from dyeing fabrics and sourcing vintage textiles, Roberts said.

"The Crown" also took inspiration from a blue floral dress that the Princess of Wales wore while touring Australia.

Princess Diana was photographed during her royal tour of Australia wearing a Donald Campbell dress and a John Boyd hat — and a similar look made an appearance in "The Crown."

"The Crown" re-created a gown and matching shawl that Princess Diana wore while visiting New York City on a solo trip in 1989.

Season four of "The Crown" re-created the outfit that Princess Diana wore for a solo trip to New York City, which included a visit to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for its 1989 Royal Gala.

In a personal essay for People Magazine, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's President Emerita, Karen Brooks Hopkins, recalled hosting Princess Diana for the historic occasion.

"I can tell you that the rollout of a royal visit is meticulous," Hopkins wrote in People Magazine. "She is not just a person but an industry, and every moment is designed to maximize the fantasy, beauty, and mystery of royalty — and our Diana was the quintessential princess. She was tall, young, graceful, beautiful, and a real professional."

A one-shoulder floral dress worn by Corrin in "The Crown" is a nod to a quintessential Princess Diana silhouette.

In addition to Corrin's outfits that paid homage to the Princess of Wales, her hair and makeup also contributed to emulating the royal's look and style evolution.

Cate Hall, a hair and makeup designer who worked on seasons three and four of "The Crown," said in a press release from Netflix that Corrin's wigs had "the same Diana cut" but changed in style and color throughout the season, becoming "progressively blonder and more glamorous and voluminous."

"Emma Corrin's own hair color is really similar to Diana's natural hair color, but Diana's haircut was what defined her look. Even un-styled, it is unmistakably her," Hall said.

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