Princess Diana with David Emanuel, who was tasked to design a burqa for her.


Princess Diana’s burqa for first Middle East tour


DUBAI – New documents have emerged that the late Princess Diana packed a full-length burqa on her first tour of the Middle East in 1986.

The garment, by designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, was apparently taken on the trip but never used.

The burqa is described as a “reserve outfit”, and appears to have a large bow and sash below the waist.

A sketch of the burqa designed emerged as part of an auction in the US in October, along with a collection of fabric samples and a letter from her staff requesting for “discreet” wear on her tour to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.

The typed note from Diana’s Lady in Waiting, Anne Beckwith-Smith, to Elizabeth Emmanuel in June 1986, says: “Certain special requirements concerning dress need to be observed and I am writing to ask if it would be possible to submit to The Princess of Wales a few sketches for day and evening wear from which Her Royal Highness could select items for this tour.

The letter and sketch, including a collection of fabric samples and paperwork from Emanuel’s London shop, will be auctioned in Boston at an estimated price of $33,000 (Dh121,000).

Diana dressed modestly in long sleeves throughout her six-day trip that included dinner at a Saudi palace.

In Oman, she was accompanied by her husband, Prince Charles, and posed for a photo on Jebel Akhdar, which is now known as “Diana’s point.” GAD/Expat Media


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