Catherine Walker Wales may find Princess Kate a royal fan, but she was also one of Princess Diana’s favorite fashion designers.
Three months after her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, she provided Diana with many of her iconic dresses.
The princess was even buried in a black dress designed by Walker that she had bought a few weeks earlier.
Walker died in 2010 at the age of 65, and his widow, Sade Cyrus, now runs the business as head designer.
Here, we look back at the fascinating dramas behind every Catherine Walker dress reported by Richard Kay in 2000…
November 1992 – Fairy tale ends
Her marriage to Charles was by all accounts over, but the Queen ordered Diana to make one last superhuman effort in the interest of the royal family and complete an official visit to South Korea.
It was a gesture too far. At a state banquet, the rift between the royal couple was very apparent. They couldn’t talk to each other.
The cool colors of this lilac crepe gown reflected the icy atmosphere as Diana attended a state banquet hosted by the President of South Korea in November 1992 in Seoul.
The tension between the then Prince Charles and Princess Diana was very evident – as this photo shows
The pair’s body language said it all as they were seen from afar – announcing their split within weeks
The devastating revelations of Andrew Morton’s book were followed by the damning Squidgate tapes. Over her relationship with James Hewitt, Diana’s personal life was turbulent.
‘Fairytale’ got married.
Now all his attention was on his sons William and Harry. The cool hue of this lilac crepe gown – previously worn for a state visit to the UAE in 1989 – reflected the icy atmosphere.
Within weeks of returning to Britain, Prime Minister John Major announced separation to a stunned House of Commons.
November 1994 – Abused Women
Just weeks after Charles’ explosive confession of adultery with then-wife Camilla Parker Bowles, Diana emerged as the wronged woman in the marriage from hell.
He embarked on a number of high-profile foreign functions, beginning with a reception hosted by Bernardo at the Palace of Versailles in France.
Diana, Princess of Wales, in a black halter-neck evening gown designed by Catherine Walker in November 1994
She attended a reception hosted by Bernardo at the Palace of Versailles in France
She wanted to make an entrance — and she did in this show-stopping backless gown
Diana was intent on making an entrance. He did not fail.
In this long black dress made from silk crepe, her first ‘sexy’ dress, haute couture designer Pierre Cardin was inspired to comment: ‘This is the home of the Sun King of France. Now we have the Sun Princess of Versailles.’
June 1995 – Return to the scene in ‘Revenge Dress’
Diana looked stunning at the Serpentine Gallery in West London.
A year ago, she made her gallery visit to great effect the night Charles went on television to admit that he had been unfaithful during their marriage.
Princess Diana in a powder blue dress at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. He was single and enjoyed it
Again, Diana chose a dress that showed off her toned back and legs
Single again and enjoying it, Diana developed a close friendship with the then England rugby captain, Will Carling. They met at the gym, where Carling introduced her to pumping iron.
Soon after, Carling’s wife Julia implicated the princess in the subsequent breakdown of their marriage.
For Diana, it was nothing more than a diversion. Within weeks she met the man who was said to be the last true love of her life, Dr. Hasnat Khan.
October 1996 – Keeping quiet amid video scandal
The supposed business of the day was the launch of a £1.5 million appeal for the London Lighthouse charity’s AIDS Center in Notting Hill, West London.
But on Diana and everyone else’s mind was the release of a secretly filmed tape showing the princess cavorting with her ex-boyfriend James Hewitt at Highgrove.
The film was a fake and Rajkumar, always a consummate performer, kept her cool.
A year into her secret relationship with Pakistan-born heart surgeon Dr. Khan, her personal life was quiet.
Diana kept her cool despite being the victim of a video hoax that leaked in front of a newspaper. He looked professional in a red Catherine Walker suit
Despite the drama, he remained cheerful and took time to talk to patients during a visit to the London Lighthouse in 1996.
But he was getting bigger on the world stage, honored by statesman Dr. Henry Kissinger for his humanitarian work.
He also severed his friendship with the Duchess of York after Fergie wrote unkind passages about her in her book.
March 1997 – fresh from its groundbreaking mission
With a new soft hairstyle, Diana looked trim and dapper in a pastel pink suit reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy’s Sixties outfit, with matching handbag and stiletto heels, as she arrived at an awards lunch at London’s Savoy Hotel.
His ground-breaking landmine mission in Angola a few weeks ago made headlines around the world.
The princess had a new haircut and looked dapper in a pink Catherine Walker suit. His ground-breaking landmine mission in Angola a few weeks ago made headlines around the world
However, he was disturbed by the slow re-emergence of Camilla Parker Bowles into her ex-husband’s life
At home, she planned the most significant break with the past – stripping out of her clothes to raise money for cancer and AIDS charities.
However, he was disturbed by the slow re-emergence of Camilla Parker Bowles into her ex-husband’s life.
April 1997 – A New Romance
Diana is the picture of stunning elegance as she visits young cystic fibrosis patients at the Royal Brompton Hospital in West London.
During his off-duty hours he was a regular visitor to the hospital, visiting unannounced patients.
But there was another reason for dropping out – her romance with handsome registrar Hasnat Khan was picking up steam.
The following month he traveled to Pakistan to meet his family for tea on the lawn of their home in Lahore. Again the visit had a semi-official purpose – to call on former cricketer Imran Khan at the cancer hospital.
Diana arrived at the Royal Brompton Hospital in April 1997 in a pale blue dress
Her romance with handsome registrar Hasnat Khan took off – but it wasn’t meant to be
Friends now believe that the real purpose of the visit was to convince Hasnat Khan’s family that she would be a suitable bride for their son.
If so, it did not succeed.
June 1997 – The Summer of Love begins
Diana wore this elegant dress, made from blue silk crepe and embroidered with beagle beads and diamonds, to the London auction launch of her gowns at Christie’s.
A New York sale a few days later raised £3.5 million.
Physically at her peak, with a perfect 36-26-36 figure, Diana’s hemlines gradually got shorter over the years.
Diana wore this elegant dress, made from blue silk crepe and embroidered with beagle beads and diamonds, to the London launch of the auction of her gowns at Christie’s.
His landmine campaign continued and this month, it led him to the White House and a meeting with Hillary Clinton.
But personal happiness eluded him. Dr. Khan refuses to come out of the shadows and the couple breaks up.
Diana made a spirited attempt to become a single girl by going on a date with Annabel at a Mayfair nightclub with a millionaire Indian businessman.
This was the beginning of her summer of love.
Diana accepted an invitation to join Harrods boss Mohammed Al Fayed at his family’s villa in the south of France.
July 1997 – His last week alive
A poignant image – Diana’s last days of public engagement in Britain.
The simple shift dress with gold double belt was made for the visit to Chicago, but was not worn until a foundation stone was unveiled at the casualty unit at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, Middlesex.
Diana – already bruised with Dodi Fayed after the Harrods tycoon’s son dumped her American fiance – began her helter-skelter in recent weeks.
The simple shift dress with gold double belt was made for the Chicago tour, but was not worn until this event
Diana – already smitten with Dodi Fayed after the Harrods tycoon’s son dumped her American fiance – began her helter-skelter last week.
He traveled to Milan for the funeral of his friend, fashion designer Gianni Versace – where pop star Elton John wept in his arms – and then embarked on a series of high-profile holidays with Dodi.
But at home she was disturbed by the arrival of Charles and Camilla – the prince had a 50th birthday party for his then-mistress.
Diana decided to spend more time abroad.
A month later, he died.
Read Full News Here