On the cusp of the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, three dresses owned and worn by her were up for sale via auctioneer Kerry Taylor. Each of the dresses represents a distinct part of Di’s life.
The first, a brown tartan day dress with a white Peter Pan collar designed by Caroline Charles, was worn by the Princess to the Braemar Highland Games in September of 1982. “This dress was worn a year after Charles and Diana married and it was such a happy and relaxed moment,” explains Taylor to the The Telegraph. “We see her laughing with the Queen in that dress. It’s part of a happy interlude – the calm before the storm.”
The next is a turquoise silk suit by designer Catherine Walker. The Royal wore this on her tour of Australia and New Zealand in April 1983. “She was photographed wearing this ensemble rubbing noses – the traditional Maori greeting,” Taylor explains.
Lastly is a purple crushed velvet off-the-shoulder number designed by Bruce Oldfield. Diana wore it to a dinner at the Ajuda Palace in Lisbon during a visit to Portugal with Prince Charles in February 1987.
While the purple frock was previously on auction via Christie’s in 1997 and acquired for $26,450, it has remained unworn since Diana donned it. It just sold for $57,000.
The NY Post notes the other two frocks were originally unwittingly purchased by a mother and daughter from a London vintage shop years ago. Those dresses were actually worn by the duo, and apparently items tainted by commoners decrease value. The turquoise suit was altered, worn to a wedding by the mother and had champagne spilled on it. As a result Taylor expected it to garner £600 rather than £6,000, but surprisingly it ended up going for $5,300. The tartan dress, although not altered, was worn by the daughter and sold for the final bid of $7,000.