Princess Diana considered wearing a burka in Saudi Arabia sketches reveal

Princess Diana, wearing an evening dress designed by the Emmanuels, at a dinner given by the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia on November 17, 1986 Princess Diana, wearing an evening dress designed by the Emmanuels, at a dinner given by the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia on November 17, 1986Credit:Georges De Keerle /Getty A letter to Princess Diana's wedding dress maker Elizabeth Emanuel Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sketches for demure, long-sleeved outfits “It’s a remarkable, comprehensive archive from the famously stylish royal.” The fifth, “reserve” outfit, which was also sketched, was a burka that would have covered Diana from head to toe with only a gap for her eyes.It is not believed that Diana wore a burka during the trip, but the fact she was willing to consider it shows her sensitivity to other cultures.The sketches, and fabric samples for the outfits, have now emerged for sale with US auction house RR Auctions. The collection has been given an estimated value of £24,000.  Diana dress Credit:BNPS Diana dress Credit:BNPS A letter to Princess Diana’s wedding dress maker Elizabeth EmanuelCredit:BNPS Diana dress Lady-in-waiting: ‘Modesty is order of the day’A letter, dated June 2, 1986, sent to the Emmanuels by Diana’s lady-in-waiting, Anne Beckwith-Smith, outlined the strict requirements for her garments during the tour.She wrote: “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.”Their Royal highnesses will be visiting Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. In all cases modesty is the order of the day.”An invoice for the dresses also features in the sale revealing they cost between £275 and £450 each. The collection has been consigned for sale by a private collector and it is believed that this is the first time it has emerged on the market. Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auctions, said: “Princess Diana tried to conform to local customs by wearing concealing clothes, but still exposed her neck and left her head uncovered.”At evening banquets, she appeared in the long sleeved demure dresses made especially for the tour. She did not have to wear the ‘reserve outfit’ burka depicted in this archive. Princess Diana considered wearing a burka while visiting Saudi Arabia on a 1986 tour of the Gulf states, it has emerged.Sketches of outfits designed for the princess’ visit 32 years ago have come to light and they included a burka.Before Diana and Prince Charles embarked on their 1986 tour, one of her favourite designers was asked to make dresses which “conformed to local customs”.The husband and wife team, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who made Diana’s wedding dress, submitted sketches for four different demure, long-sleeved outfits.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––These were a navy and white stripe coat over a white dress, a black and white silk satin evening dress, a purple evening dress and a white silk evening dress. Credit:BNPS Princess Diana, centre, with David and Elizabeth Emanuel, looking through outfit designs for her visit to Saudi Arabia Diana and Charles made a whistlestop six-day tour of Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in November 1986.In Saudi Arabia, she was invited to King Fahd’s palace, a rare honour for a woman, although she was not allowed to dine with the men.The Emanuels designed more than 100 outfits for Diana for special occasions and for when she travelled abroad.The sale takes place on September 25. Princess Diana, centre, with David and Elizabeth Emanuel, looking through outfit designs for her visit to Saudi ArabiaCredit:BNPS A sketch of a burka, designed as a possible choice for Princess Diana's visit to Saudi Arabia Credit:BNPS

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