(CBS) - The wedding dress Princess Diana wore when she married Prince Charles in 1981 was once one of the best-kept secrets in fashion. Now, it's out of storage and back on display.
"I think the really special thing about this dress was it was one of the first royal wedding dresses to really speak to contemporary fashion," says Claudia Acott Williams, a curator at Kensington Palace.
As a 20-year-old future princess, Diana teamed up with fashion designer Elizabeth Emanuel. "She kind of trusted us to come up with something that she would really love," Emanuel says. Diana not only loved it but smashed the royal rules and a record too. Diana set the record for the longest train in royal history. Emanuel says, "The previous record was 23 feet, and so with Diana, we thought let's do better than that." Designers added two more feet to Diana's sequin-encrusted train.
Diana would have turned 60 in July. Her sons, princes William and Harry, are loaning their mother's dress to the royal exhibit at Kensington Palace. "The dress is made out of this wonderful, heavy silk taffeta. It was woven in England, and it's embellished with a beautiful Suffolk lace," Acott Williams says.
Princess Diana did keep some tradition. The antique lace was something old, the dress was new, her tiara was borrowed, and a little bow in the back was something blue.
Before the wedding, Princess Diana's dress was such a tightly guarded secret that the fashion designer would throw random pieces of fabric in the trash to throw snooping journalists off the scent.