Diana Princess Of Wales Dresses To Auction For Up To £1m


Ten of Diana, Princess of Wales's dresses are going under the hammer today, when they are expected to fetch nearly £1 million.

Among the cocktail frocks, ballgowns and formal evening dresses up for sale is the Victor Edelstein gown which the late Princess wore when she danced with John Travolta at a White House state dinner in the 1980s.

The image of the Princess in the striking off-the-shoulder midnight blue velvet dress and sapphire and diamond choker, twirling around with the Hollywood heartthrob, captivated the Americans when she and the Prince of Wales visited the US in 1985.

The dress is expected to fetch between £200,000 and £300,000 at specialist vintage fashion auctioneers Kerry Taylor Auctions in London.

The items were originally sold, along with a number of others, by Diana herself following her divorce from the Prince of Wales to raise money for charity at the suggestion of her son, the young Prince William.

One of the buyers, American Maureen Rorech Dunkel, initially bought the 10 dresses as a long-term investment, but after Diana's death in 1997 she decided to exhibit them to raise money for good causes.

They are now being auctioned by an anonymous seller. Estimates price the collection at around £830,000.

Among the other dresses in the Fit For A Princess collection is a Catherine Walker Mughal-inspired embroidered pink silk evening gown and bolero which was made for Diana and Charles's state visit to India in 1992, which is expected to be sold for up to £120,000.

It was on this trip that the famous photograph of the Princess sitting alone outside the Taj Mahal was taken.

Six dresses by Walker - one of the Princess's favourite designers - are up for sale.

Another by the French-born dressmaker is a burgundy velvet gown with embroidered tailcoat, which was worn during a state visit to Korea in 1992 and to the premiere of Steel Magnolias two years earlier. It is expected to fetch up to £60,000.

A Walker black velvet and beaded evening gown, which Diana was photographed in by Mario Testino for a Vanity Fair photoshoot just a few months before she died, is also part of the collection with a guide price of £50,000 to £70,000.

It is the only one of the 10 to have been worn after her divorce from Charles.

A dress by another of her favourite designers, Bruce Oldfield, also features.

The black velvet evening gown was worn for an official portrait by Lord Snowdon and at the gala opening of Les Miserables in 1985 and is expected to fetch up to £50,000.

Auctioneer Kerry Taylor said: "It's probably the last time that these 10 Diana dresses will be seen together because after the auction obviously they'll probably be scattered across the world.

"In a way it's like a little history of Diana's life through her clothes."

In 2010, a black taffeta dress worn by Diana on her first official engagement with her then-fiance Charles in 1981 went for almost four times the estimate of £50,000 when it sold for £192,000.

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