December 26, 2014


Wedding folklorist and costume historian Cornelia Powell’s insightful way of looking at the life of Princess Diana forms a captivating view into the world of brides and ceremony, fairy tales and princess myths. In For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding—this first volume of The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride—the author combines stories of bridal mythology, fashion history, goddess legends, royal ceremonies, and a bit of cosmic mystery with the life of the world’s most famous celebrity and ultimate princess bride.

Cornelia Powell has a singular perspective on Princess Diana’s influence on weddings and their complement of womanly rituals. On the gilded wave following Diana’s royal wedding in 1981—an occasion that reinvented an outdated bridal industry and brought weddings back into high-style—Powell created a store for the “new woman” emerging that decade…a design haven for this “grown-up bride.” And during the 1980s and ‘90s she worked with thousands of brides-to-be, watching the near-mystical allure of the white wedding gown do its magic. Her invitation to brides, don't settle for being a princess for a day, be a goddess for a lifetime, is the heart of this book. 

In this anthology of irresistible stories, Powell first brings together sparkling ingredients of “the great white wedding(Queen Victoria launched its first era and her great-great-great-grandson's shimmering bride, Princess Diana, revived it in the most memorable of ways nearly a hundred and fifty years later.) Deepening the narrative, the author then wraps it all in the heart-opening legacy of an archetypal princess who changed our notion of “happily ever after” and ended the myth of the fairy-tale bride. ~

{Available at in February}

November 6, 2014

{Presenting Excerpts from New Diana Book}

I've been invited to present the keynote address at the Costume Society of America's regional symposium in Nashville on November 22nd. It will be a "sneak-preview" of my upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding. The public is invited for the afternoon talk and following reception. Click here for details including how to get tickets!

October 14, 2014

{Excerpt Published from Upcoming Diana Book}

Here's a link to my latest article in SEASON magazine's autumn issue ("A Whiter Shade of Pale" -- all about the mystique of the white wedding gown through history) ... which just happens to be an excerpt from my upcoming new book: The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding.

Plus, the link will also take you to a report I wrote about my visit in the spring to Winterthur Museum where I gave a presentation ("Vintage Inspiration: The Brides of Downton Abbey") during their wonderful costume exhibition featuring our favorite British period drama. (The exhibition continues through January 4, 2015.)

Enjoy all the elegant "vintage vibes".... and stay tuned for news of the book's release! ~CP

August 3, 2014

{An Un-Sentimental Journey}

I just attended the "Diana: A Celebration" exhibition in Cincinnati -- the final stop on a long world tour! Since I'm writing about her wedding dress (and Diana's influence on the world of weddings) in my new book, I thought I better see it in person while I had the chance.
The book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding, will be out before the end of the year -- stay tuned!


May 20, 2014

{Diana: A Celebration} Exhibition Back in the U.S. for Final Presentation!


More than 15 years after her death, Princess Diana’s memory still stirs interest and emotion. The award-winning exhibition Diana, A Celebration, which chronicles the life of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, will be on display at Cincinnati Museum Center from Feb. 14 through Aug. 17, 2014. This is the final showing for the renowned exhibition, which has been touring the world since 2003, before the items return to her sons in England to be preserved for future generations.

The exhibition presents the life and humanitarian work of Princess Diana through nine galleries containing 150 objects-ranging from her royal wedding gown and 28 of her designer dresses to family heirlooms, personal mementos, paintings and rare home movies and photos. The exhibition is on loan from the Althorp Estate, the Spencer family’s 500-year-old ancestral home.

The exhibition showcases the life and work of one of the most remarkable women of her time – certainly one of the most photographed – with over one billion television viewers who watched the 1981 Royal Wedding. Her charm, beauty and easy grace touched people worldwide during her short and complex life. [Click here for more information, ticket sales, etc.]


April 19, 2014

{Prince William Remembers His Mother in Australia}

Australia 1983
Princess Diana changed the future of the British monarchy in many ways and one was her loving, hands-on way of being a royal mother. (And to be fair, Prince Charles broke with the Wales' family tradition and was a much more hands-on father as well.) Radical at the time, when she and Prince Charles were scheduled to go on their six-week tour to New Zealand and Australia in 1983, Princess Diana insisted on taking their infant son, Prince William, with them.

Australia 2014
This week, "Prince William's arrival in Australia with his wife Kate Middleton, and his son Prince George, was a moment of reflection for the new father," reported Yahoo Celebrity. In a speech recalling other royal visits over the last 60 years by his various relatives, it was especially poignant when William mentioned his mother, the late Princess Diana: "My mother's deep affection for Australia--which you were so kind to reciprocate -- needs no reminder."

Read the entire article here.

March 31, 2014

{When I Met Diana....}

Mario Testino: "'When I met Diana, I knew from the start that this shoot would be different....'"

"Photographer Mario Testino's now legendary images portrayed a princess longing for love and made him as famous as the star he snapped...." [The Telegraph]

Revisit that famous photo session, taken a few months before Diana died, in this recent interview with Mario Testino in The Telegraph...on the occasion of being awarded an honorary OBE. (And get his take on Kate and all things British!)