Ten iconic Princess Diana dresses up for auction

(AFP PHOTO/Kerry Taylor Auctions)

(AFP PHOTO/Kerry Taylor Auctions)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

Ten dresses belonging to Britain's late Princess Diana, including a gown she famously wore while dancing with actor John Travolta, are to be sold in London next month, an auction house said Wednesday.

The collection, due to go under the hammer on March 19, is believed to be worth at least $919,000, a spokeswoman for Kerry Taylor Auctions told AFP.

The auction house said the lots included some of the "most important and iconic" dresses worn by Prince Charles's glamorous former wife, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi.

"Some of the gowns were worn for official state visits to Austria, Australia, Brazil, India, South Korea and the United States of America," said the auction house, which specialises in vintage fashion sales.

"Diana was photographed wearing them by not only by the paparazzi, but by some of the leading photographers of the day -- including Mario Testino and Lord Snowdon."

The collection includes a midnight blue velvet gown by Victor Edelstein which Diana wore to a 1985 state dinner at the White House -- where she twirled around the dance floor with "Saturday Night Fever" star Travolta.

"These elegant couture creations were made by some of her favourite designers -- Zandra Rhodes, Catherine Walker, Bruce Oldfield and Victor Edelstein," said Kerry Taylor Auctions.

"One of them, a dark green velvet dinner gown, has what appears to be the print of a small hand on the skirt -- possibly that of a young prince?"

Diana, who became a global style icon and was famed for her charity work, wed heir to the throne Prince Charles in a lavish ceremony in 1981. They had two sons, William and Harry, but divorced in 1996.

At Diana's request, the ten dresses were originally sold in a charity auction in New York in June 1997, just two months before she died.

Florida-based businesswoman Maureen Dunkel bought the dresses, along with four others. She was forced to put them up for auction in 2011 after she went bankrupt -- but only four of them sold.

"The reserve prices were ridiculously high," a Kerry Taylor spokeswoman told AFP.

"That sale was a bit of a disaster. But they are beautiful dresses. We have a good reputation for selling these things and the estimates are sensible, rooted in reality and obtainable."


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