Kristen Stewart’s Diana Wears Loads of Chanel in ‘Spencer.’ Here’s Why Diana Avoided It in Real Life

It’s been one week since Spencer hit the theaters and I’m still reflecting on the sartorial choices made by costume designer—and two-time Oscar-winner—Jacqueline Durran for Kristen Stewart, who played the lead role of Princess Diana in the film. One of the biggest head-scratchers? The abundance of Chanel worn by Stewart.

kristen stewart chanel red coat spencer
Neon Films

It’s true: Stewart has been brand ambassador for Chanel since 2013 and the brand was also an official partner for the film. She also wears it beautifully—from the red coat she wears to the Christmas morning church service to the pearl-colored haute couture gown she dons for Christmas dinner. But there’s quite a history between the real Diana and the iconic French brand, whose logo—two intertwined Cs—happened to emulate the initials of two of the biggest stressors in Diana’s life. (Ahem, Charles and Camilla.)

On this week’s episode of the Royally Obsessed podcast, I get into this with my co-host Roberta Fiorito in conversation with our special guest Eloise Moran, author of The Lady Di Look Bookdue out in 2022—and the person behind the hit Instagram account @LadyDiRevengeLooks.

kristen stewart spencer chanel white dress
Neon Films

“The clothes were obviously such a key factor in the film—there were so many close-ups of them, the racks,” Moran said. “I liked that they made the fashion a focal point. I did think it was interesting and surprising that they used a lot of Chanel because obviously Princess Diana really stayed off Chanel for a lot of her life until the late 1990s because the emblem reminded her of Charles and Camilla. That just felt quite inaccurate to me because she really was like, oh god, I can’t even look at that emblem.”

According to sources, Diana really steered clear of the brand until she had some distance from her divorce because it was such a flagrant reminder of their relationship. Durran said in an interview with Vogue that she was aware that Diana mostly wore Chanel post-divorce, but they made the choice to include it anyway. “When I had the fitting [for the Christmas dinner gown] with Kristen and Pablo in London, she put it on and it was just so great, the perfect look for an extremely glamorous princess. We hadn’t even planned to use it for such a large chunk of the movie, but it was just too good to pass up.”

If there’s anything we know about the film, liberties—with the fashion, with the timeline, with the narrative—were taken. Still, always fascinating to know the back story.

For more about the royals and a deep dive into the film Spencer, listen to the Royally Obsessed podcast with co-hosts Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito. Subscribe now or follow us on Instagram @royallyobsessedpodcast.

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...