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Catherine Walker Collection

Catherine Walker was one of Princess Diana’s favorite designers. The Princess Diana Museum is proud to display an extensive collection of outfits designed by Catherine Walker. Each one reflecting a different side to Diana’s fashion evolution.

This Catherine Walker couture beaded blue-grey Taroni silk cocktail dress is one of only two dresses made and identical to the one worn by Princess Diana to a London gala preview for the auction of her dresses, 2nd June, 1997. It's beaded and embroidered in high relief with roses and scattered petals in silver threads, the motifs at the bodice edge further encrusted with diamanté.  Often designers made two identical dresses in case something happened to the original. Diana was fitted in both.  

The designer — the late Catherine Walker — described her approach: "I always try to give my embroidery a three-dimensional quality not only by tilting the image in perspective, but also with the texture itself. Here, the bugle beads and diamanté are so dense that they rise from the surface of the fabric like florets made of sugar."

Image Source: © Getty

Princess Diana's Chelsea Design Company navy wool blazer from the late 1980s, early 1990s. It is double-breasted with sharp lapels and gilt metal buttons each bearing the Royal Arms of England (three cast lions passant guardant). It also has diagonally slanted pockets and is lined in blue acetate.

Mr. Said Ismail of Catherine Walker remembers making a number of these blazers for the Princess over the years.

Image Source: © Getty


Princess Diana's Catherine Walker printed peach silk polka dot coat dress, 1988. Bearing "Catherine Walker for Chelsea Design Co." label, double-breasted, of loose cut but with slimmer fitting skirt, padded shoulders, lined in white silk.

Princess Diana wore this dress on four public occasions:

June 13, 1988 - to attend the Order of the Garter ceremony with Prince Charles; accessorized with a peach sailor bonnet with rear bow and upturned brim and single strand pearl choker.

July 12, 1988 - to welcome President Evren of Turkey on a State Visit, with Prince Charles; accessorized with a peach sailor bonnet and double strand pearl choker.

July 12, 1989 - on a visit to The Freeman Hospital, and Percy Hedley School in Newcastle Upon Tyne; accessorized with a white clutch bag and court shoes.

May 15, 1991 - for an International Spinal Research Charity event at the Langham Hilton Hotel, London; accessorized with peach leather shoes.

Image Source: © Globe

Royal Blue Jacket

The jacket was greatly admired by Diana, and she requested it to be made in a range of different colors, most notably royal blue and "Red Cross" red. A staff member recalls Diana purchasing this jacket from Catherine Walker's studio in late 1992, shortly after the publication of Andrew Morton's biography, with the intention of diversifying her wardrobe. She aimed to move away from solely elaborate gowns to more relatable pieces, aspiring to be seen as a professional and working woman.

Princess Diana wore this blue Chelsea jacket on four occasions, most famously when she dropped Prince William off at Eaton College for his first day of school.


Navy Wool Day Dress

Princess Diana's Catherine Walker navy wool day dress, circa 1989 bearing "Catherine Walker for Chelsea Design Co." label, was worn for private, non-official engagements and reflects Diana’s stylish working wardrobe.

Blue Pin Striped Dress

A striped 100% cotton summer dress by designer Catherine Walker, with thin white and blue stripes, slightly puffed sleeves and buttons from waist to chest, worn by the Princess around 1982 to watch polo matches.

Green Velvet Dress

Princess Diana wore this green velvet dress designed by Catherine Walker to the National Portrait Gallery in March 1995, looking lovely as ever.

Navy Pin Striped Blazer

This Catherine Walker navy pin striped blazer was one of Diana’s favorite jackets for her charity work.  She wore it on at least thirteen occasions:

— Visiting the Women's Aids and Social Change Foundation on April 9, 1987
— Visiting The Bayswater Family Doctors Practice for homeless families at 9 South Wharf Road, Paddington on 27th February, 1989
— Attending the European Drug Prevention Week Conference at the Metropole Hotel, London 1992
— Visiting the Town Hall in Lille in France, 15th November 1992
— Arriving at Heathrow Airport on 15th November 1992
— Visiting the headquarters of the International Aids Operation of the British Red Cross, in Kingsbury, London, England, 19th January 1993
— In her official car in small collision, 2nd February 1993
— Attending the Management Forum Conference on Aids, February 16, 1993
— Visiting the charity REFUGE on March 22, 1993
— Visiting as patron of Turning Point on April 29th, 1993
— Attending the National Chiropractic meeting, May 1993
— Visiting Pield Heath House School, November 9, 1993
— At the Annual Meeting & 25th Anniversary of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Soho, December 16, 1993
— Hounded by press after leaving Daphne'd Restaurant in London, 1994.

Swatch Collection

An incredible collection of 8 swatches showcases Peggy Umpelby’s hand embroidery work on dresses designed by Catherine Walker, such as the iconic “Elvis Dress” and a paisley beaded ivory satin dress famously worn by Diana on four occasions.


It took 100 hours to embroider each swatch, using faux pearls edged with gold stitch-work and miniature bugle beads, complemented by a scattering of diamante.