The Klondike Dress and Hat!

klondike dress hat

Princess Diana’s Klondike Ensemble is a Pink/Peach Silk Period Dress and Hat in the style of 1880 worn by her during a Royal Tour to Canada in 1983. The dress is a form-fitting princess line gown of wild silk, with swagged overskirt ruched at sides and back to reveal a silk lace flounced underskirt and back train; the lace is repeated at the collar, bodice jabot and cuffs. The dress also contains interior bodice boning. The hat consists of cream petal straw trimmed with period velours au sabre silk ribbon, silk flowers and pearl sprigs. Both the dress and hat are currently in excellent condition. Princess Diana wore the dress and hat June 1983, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, at a Klondike period gala event. The event was part of the Prince and Princess’s Canadian Royal Tour of that year. In need of an appropriate gown for the occasion, she chose this one from a selection of period pieces brought to her at Kensington Palace by Oscar-winning costume designer John Bright, at whose studio, Cosprop, the dress was made. This dress, which Diana mischievously chose, was first worn by Francesca Annis in the 1978 mini-series “Lillie” (Lillie Langtry (“Lillie”), along with Prince Charles’s mistress Camilla Parker Bowles’s great-grandmother, Alice Keppel, had both been mistresses of Charles’s great-great grandfather Edward VII when he was Prince of Wales in the late 1800’s [98]).

Linda Mattock [77] had designed this dress as a “Langtry” dress, exemplifying the essence of Lillie’s style. Diana then had the Klondike dress personally fitted on her by Mr. Bright and he altered it to her measurements. Mr. Bright also designed and made the hat specifically for Diana to wear with the dress. After Princess Diana wore the dress and hat, John Bright stored them until they were sold in association with Bonham’s of London to Dr. Michael H. Smith for the benefit of MediCinema (a charitable organization that enhances the care of hospital patients by providing free film screenings to them and their families) [66]. The dress is currently on loan to Kensington Palace. The fairy-tale princess-like Klondike dress and hat is one of Diana’s most published ensembles, with pictures or articles of her wearing it appearing in over 100 publications, including books, newspapers, magazines, CD ROMs, web pages, postcards and videos.

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