Diana's Wedding Dress Designer Says He Cannot 'Utter' Meghan Markle's Name

The designer of Princess Diana's wedding dress has given a scathing critique of Meghan Markle and her choice in fashion for the Platinum Jubilee, to a British newspaper columnist.

David Emanuel, one half of the design duo who created Diana's wedding dress along with many examples of her 1980s fashions, is quoted as calling Meghan "the American woman," after saying that he cannot "utter her name" and suggesting that she was "channeling" Wallis Simpson for the jubilee, in a recently published conversation with the Daily Mail's Richard Eden.

David Emanuel Criticizes Meghan Markle's Fashion Sense
David Emanuel, one half of the design team that created Princess Diana's wedding dress, has criticized Meghan Markle's fashion sense saying her outfit for the Platinum Jubilee looked like a "nurses uniform". Emanuel (L) photographed June 19, 2014. Meghan (R) June 3, 2022. And Diana (inset) July 29, 1981. Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Emanuel, a host of TLC's Say Yes To The Dress U.K., previously commented that he was "disappointed" in Meghan's choice of wedding dress and did not disguise his dislike for the duchess in his conversation with Eden.

When asked about Meghan he is quoted as having said: "You mean the American woman? I can't utter the name now."

On her choice of a Christian Dior Haute Couture pale coloured coat dress, modeled on a traditional trench coat that Meghan chose to wear for the jubilee national service of thanksgiving, Emanuel said:

"I tell you who she is channeling—Wally Simpson," this being a reference to Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee for whom the queen's uncle Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936.

"I will stick my neck out here," he continued, "but she looked as if she was in a nurse's uniform."

Meghan Markle Dior Jubilee Ensemble
Designer David Emanuel compared Meghan Markle's Haute Couture Christian Dior ensemble worn to the Platinum Jubilee service of thanksgiving to a "nurse's uniform." Photographed June 3, 2022. Karwai Tang/WireImage/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The designer then questioned whether Meghan and Harry should have been invited to the jubilee service in the first place.

"And why were they there?" he is quoted as saying.

"I can understand Her Majesty wanting her grandson, of course, but they're not working royals."

Many members of the royal family were present at the St Paul's cathedral service held on the second day of the jubilee weekend, including a large number of non-working royals such as Prince Andrew's daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Their attendance at the service marked Harry and Meghan's first joint public ceremonial appearance in the U.K. since stepping down as full-time working royals in March 2020. It also marked Meghan's first public visit to Britain since the broadcast of her landmark 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Despite low popularity polling numbers with the British public, Harry and Meghan were received with cheers from the royal watchers who gathered outside the cathedral on the day of the service, though some booing was also reported.

A regular commentator on royal events since the 1990s, Emanuel has become a vocal critic of Meghan and Harry and having known Princess Diana during the earlier years of her royal life, told Eden that she would not have tolerated her two sons apparently falling out.

"If Diana were alive," he said of the princess who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 at the age of 36, "all of this would have been sorted out."

At the time of the jubilee, a public appearance where both Harry and Prince William along with their wives Meghan and Kate Middleton was widely anticipated. Following the service of thanksgiving however, this appeared an unlikely occurrence as the couples arrived separately, were seated separately and departed at intervals.

The designer is then quoted as ending with one final critique of Meghan, this time over her professional credentials:

"They talk about her being a movie star, but she is not," he said.

"She's a B-list TV actress, that's all. She's not Glenn Close."

Princess Diana, The Emanuels at Kensington Palace
David Emanuel (R) photographed with wife Elizabeth (L) and Princess Diana (C) at the royal's Kensington Palace home going over dress designs. August 6, 1986. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Emanuel first started designing for Diana, alongside then-wife Elizabeth Emanuel, after her engagement to Prince Charles was announced in 1981 and created for her a black taffeta evening dress which was worn to her first royal function as the future Princess of Wales.

The dress caused a stir in the press as it broke many royal conventions. Firstly, it was black, a color usually reserved for mourning within royal circles, and secondly, it was daringly low cut. The design helped to establish Diana's reputation as a style icon and began a stream of sensationalist reporting around her fashion which would last to the end of her life and beyond.

In 1997, just weeks before her untimely death, Diana auctioned a collection of her most famous dresses. These included two Emanuel dresses, though not the black taffeta or her wedding dress, the latter of which she is reported to have deliberately retained for its sentimental and historical significance.

Newsweek reached out to representatives for Meghan Markle, David Emanuel and Richard Eden for comment.

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