In 1986, the late British royal Princess Diana embarked on a Gulf tour ... but did you know she had a burqa designed for her visit to Saudi Arabia?
This week, sketches of a number of outfits designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel have been revealed. They include a burqa design; a full-length white garment, with a slit for the eyes.
The burqa was designed for the late princess, but was never worn. According to The National, the designs were made "at the request of her private staff."
A typed note from her Lady-in-Waiting, Anne Beckwith Smith, to the designer in 1986 reveals the reason why a burqa was designed in the first place.
The full-length garment was considered to be the late princess' "reserve outfit" if controversy had stirred up during her visit.
"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," the letter reads.
"Their Royal Highnesses will be visiting Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. In all cases modesty is the order of the day."
The burqa design will be auctioned for an estimated $33,000
In September, the burqa design, alongside fabric samples for the outfit, will be put up for auction in Boston, U.S., for a minimum amount of $33,000.
The designs are being sold by US-based auction house RR Auctions.
"Princess Diana tried to conform to local customs by wearing concealing clothes, but still exposed her neck and left her head uncovered," said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auctions, according to Daily Mail.
"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," he added.
In November 1986, the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles toured several countries in the Gulf, including Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.
When in Saudi Arabia, she visited King Fahd's palace after receiving an invite, however, did not dine with the men.
In 1989, the couple visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai.