Diana and Charles wedding secrets – hidden message on shoe and backup dress

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With no knowledge of the heartbreak and upset behind closed doors, the world thought Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding was the perfect fairytale.

Despite only having met a handful of times, the couple tied the knot at St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981.

They said ‘I Do’ in front of 3,500 invited guests, including the royal family, celebrities and world leaders, with a further 750 million people around the world watching on TV.

There was huge excitement as the 20-year-old bride stepped out of the car in her ivory silk taffeta gown, with delighted fans marking the day with street parties and celebrations.

The wedding has been discussed and analysed for decades, with the photos becoming some of the most famous images of our generation, but there are still many things people don’t know about the big day.

To celebrate the royal wedding featuring on the new series of Netflix’s The Crown, we’ve had a look through some of the secret details.

Charles’s secret note to Diana on eve of big day
Despite reportedly having doubts about his marriage, the prince wrote his bride a sweet and supportive note the night before the wedding.

He sent the note and gift to Clarence House, where Diana spent her final night as a single woman.

In her book about Camilla, royal author Penny Junor writes: “The night before the wedding, which Diana spent at Clarence House with her sister Jane, he sent her a note, along with a signet ring that bore the Prince of Wales feathers.

“He wrote: “I’m so proud of you and when you come up I’ll be there at the altar for you tomorrow. Just look ’em in the eye and knock ’em dead'”, reports the Express.

Ms Junor also claims Charles believed the wedding was a mistake but knew it was too late to pull out.

Camilla was invited, making Diana feel “uneasy”
In the lead up to their special day, Diana was becoming increasingly worried about Charles’s relationship with his ex Camilla Parker Bowles.

Just days before saying her vows, Diana found a bracelet engraved with the letters G and F, which stood for Gladys and Fred – the nicknames Charles and Camilla used for each other, in Charles’s private secretary Michael Colborne’s office.

So when the big day finally came, it’s hardly surprising that she felt uneasy when she saw Camilla – who was on the guestlist – sitting in one of the pews at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary Charles and Camilla: King and Queen in Waiting, royal expert Jenny Bond said: “Diana told me much later in one of our private conversations that she had felt like a lamb to the slaughter as she walked up the aisle, which was very sad.

“I think she knew that things weren’t quite right, and when she saw Camilla in the congregation, was immediately uneasy about it.”

Princess Diana had a second, secret backup wedding dress
The job of designing Diana’s dress went to David and Elizabeth Emanuel, and a lot of work went into making sure the design stayed secret ready for the big reveal on the wedding day.

The couple even destroyed their sketches straight after they’d been shown to Diana to make sure they could never fall into the wrong hands.

But in case the design for the original were to be leaked, another dress was created as a back-up option.

David told People: “At the time we wanted to make absolutely sure that the dress was a surprise.

“We didn’t try it on Diana. We never even discussed it. We wanted to make sure that we had something there; it was for our own peace of mind, really.”

So Diana never even saw the second dress which was made from the same fabric as the first and also featured ruffles around the neck.

However there were a few big differences between the two.

The secret dress was a lot less lavish than the original version, lacking the antique lace and 10,000 mother-of-pearl sequins as well as the 25-foot train.

It was also never completed as it wasn’t needed in the end.

Diana had a message to Charles painted on the soles of her wedding shoes
As Diana was 5ft 10, exactly the same height as Charles, she decided to wear low-heeled shoes on her wedding day so she wasn’t taller than him.

The stunning shoes were designed by celebrity shoemaker Clive Shilton,featuring satin, lace and more than 500 sequins and 100 pearls.

Diana had the letters C and D painted on the suede soles, with a small heart in between.

Diana spilt perfume on her dress, and spent the day covering up the stain
On her way to the ceremony, the bride spilt perfume down her wedding dress.

Luckily her make up artist was on hand, and showed her how she could hold the dress up so the stain wasn’t visable.