One of Princess Diana“s most iconic dresses has been sold at an auction for £240,000 to an anonymous bidder who wanted to surprise his wife. The midnight blue velvet gown was worn by the late Princess when she was famously twirled around a dance floor by John Travolta at a White House state dinner in 1995.
“It was brought by a British gentleman who said he wanted to buy it as a surprise to cheer up his wife,” revealed Kerry Taylor, who oversaw the sale of ten of Diana“s dresses at the London auction. Kerry added that the new owner of the gown was a “lucky woman”.
PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
The Fit For a Princess auction of ten gowns raised £862,000 and attracted bidders from around the world. An “important” British museum bought two of the gowns.
Two gowns by Catherine Walker, one of Diana”s favourite designers, also fetched high prices. A black velvet evening dress, which was worn by Diana when she was photographed by Mario Testino, sold for £108,000. It was the only one of the ten dresses that Diana wore after her death.
An American museum bought a burgundy Catherine Walker gown for £108,000. This dress was worn by a Diana on a state visit to Australia in 1985 and there were some disappointed Australian bidders on the auction house floor when they were unable to match the final bid price.
Kerry Taylor had previously told ! that overseeing the auction was a “bittersweet” experience.
“When I unpack the dresses, it is tinged with sadness because Diana is no longer with us,” she told ! Online. “I am mindful of that. Diana was such a wonderful person, a fantastic humanitarian and a great mother, as well as being a style icon.”
Shortly before her death, Diana sold 70 of her couture dresses, to raise money for her favourite charities. She credited her son Prince William with inspiring her to sell them.
Florida-based socialite Maureen Rorech Dunkel bought 13 of these dresses, but reportedly sold ten of them after she ran into financial difficulties.