The wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral in London on 29 July, 1981, ranks among the most expensive royal weddings to date. A lot of planning went into the wedding, which was welcoming the future King's consort into the British royal family, and was dubbed a "fairytale wedding" and the "wedding of the century."

Princess Diana's wedding dress, valued at £9,000 (equivalent to £34,750 in 2019), was one of the most talked-about subjects at the royal wedding. The ivory silk taffeta dress, decorated with lace, hand embroidery, sequins, and 10,000 pearls, was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel. It had an iconic 25-foot (7.6 m) train of ivory taffeta and antique lace, designed according to the bride's wishes who wanted to have the longest train in the royal wedding history.

The gown will be put on display next month as the centrepiece of "Royal Style in the Making", an exhibition at the Kensington Palace Orangery that explores the relationship between couturiers and royals. David Emanuel, the co-designer of the dress, recently spoke to The Guardian about the making of the dress, and recalled working on it with his "sweet as pie" royal client.

"It was a long time ago, darling, but when we talk about it it comes back in a flash, like it was yesterday. It was magical," he said about the dress he made with his ex-wife Elizabeth Emanuel four decades ago.

The designer explained that they had designed the dress that big on purpose, so it could make a statement in the large St Paul's Cathedral. He said: "St Paul's is enormous, huge – you couldn't do a low-key little gown."

Emanuel said journalists used to look into the bins outside his studio to find some clue about the wedding dress, but despite the pressure, working on it with Diana was a joy. He recalled: "Everything was straightforward. She made it fun. Lordy, lord, was she beautiful."

Remembering Diana's twinkling blue eyes and her handwritten thank-you notes, he said: "I've dealt with movie stars, actresses, divas, you name it, but this girl did not change from day one until the end. She was sweet as pie."

The 68-year-old reveals he was also the last person who spoke to Lady Diana before she walked down the aisle and returned as the Princess of Wales. He was the one who passed Diana her bouquet, and called it a "magical time."

Emanuel recently helped the hit Netflix series "The Crown" in the recreation of the wedding dress, helping them choose the perfect colour, but is not happy with the way Princess Diana has been represented in the show.

While noting that he understands that the series is fiction inspired by real events, Emanuel said: "Let me tell you, she was not sobbing the night before. I spoke to Prince Charles, I spoke to the Queen, everybody was happy... I blame the TV producers and directors – check your facts. I was there, so don't give me all of this nonsense – I can't have it."

princess diana
The lavish silk design by David and Elizabeth Emanuel that Diana wore for her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981. Getty