Princess Diana Wore Special Low-Heeled Shoes on Her Wedding Day to Avoid Being Taller than Prince Charles

Princess Diana Wore Low-Heeled Shoes on Her Wedding Day

prince charles, prince of wales and diana, princess of wales, wearing a wedding dress designed by david and elizabeth emanuel and the spencer family tiara, ride in an open carriage, from st pauls cathedral to buckingham palace, following their wedding on july 29, 1981 in london, england photo by anwar husseingetty images
(Image credit: Anwar Hussein)
  • On the day of her royal wedding in 1981, Princess Diana was gorgeous (opens in new tab) from head to toe—including her shoes, of course.
  • According to royal biographer and historian Robert Lacey (opens in new tab), Diana's heels were specially designed to have very low heels because she was actually the same height as her husband-to-be, Prince Charles.
  • Lacey explained that the heels were "kept deliberately low so as not to upstage the groom: at five foot ten, Diana was exactly the same height as Charles."

Royal weddings (opens in new tab) are huge events and, as such, every detail is meticulously planned out. At Princess Diana's wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 (opens in new tab), this included special attention that was paid to her footwear for the big day.

In his book Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult (opens in new tab), royal biographer and historian Robert Lacey describes the very special shoes that Diana wore for a very specific reason on her wedding day. In the book, Lacey writes:

"The bride's intricate ivory taffeta gown was paired with a lace veil no less than 153 yards long, together with an eighteenth-century heirloom tiara, while her silk bridal slippers were embroidered with 542 sequins and 132 matching pearls—the heels kept deliberately low so as not to upstage the groom: at five foot ten, Diana was exactly the same height as Charles."

While that's a less-than-great reason to let dictate your heel height, the shoes themselves were undeniably gorgeous:

philadelphia october 1 princess dianas wedding slippers are displayed at a preview of the traveling diana a celebration exhibit at the national constitution center on october 1, 2009 in philadelphia, pennsylvania the exhibit, not shown in the us since 2007, opens tomorrow and continues through december 31 photo by william thomas caingetty images

(Image credit: William Thomas Cain)

Of course, Diana made a point (opens in new tab) of showing that she was standing tall in the ways that counted on her wedding day.

"When it came to the couple's wedding vows," Lacey wrote, "Diana was the first bride in royal history to promise to love, honor and cherish her husband but not necessarily to 'obey.'"

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Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.