Princess Diana Dress Breaks Record at Auction, Selling for $1.1M

A 1985 evening gown sold for 11 times more than the auction house estimated.
The Princess of Wales attends a dinner held by the Mayor of Florence during a tour of Italy April 1985. The Princess...
The Princess of Wales attends a dinner held by the Mayor of Florence during a tour of Italy, April 1985. The Princess wears a dress by Jacques Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images.

Decades after her untimely death, Princess Diana's fashion remains influential. One of the late Princess of Wales’s dresses sold at auction this weekend for $1,148,080, more than 11 times the estimated selling price set by auction house Julien’s Auctions. The price set a new record for the highest sum paid for an article of clothing once worn by Princess Diana.

The dress in question is a midi-length royal blue and black gown designed by Jacques Azagury, that was worn by the princess to at least two public engagements: Diana wore it to an April 1985 dinner held by the mayor of Florence, Italy, while on a royal tour with then-Prince Charles, and to a May 1986 performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theater. The dress’s black velvet long-sleeved bodice is embellished with embroidered blue stars, and the look is completed by a drop-waist, layered royal blue organza skirt, complete with a sash and bow at the hip.

The identity of the dress’ new owner has not been disclosed. A designer sketch of the same dress was also part of the auction, selling for $5,080, as was the silk blouse that Diana wore in her engagement portraits. The notable top fetched $381,000 at the auction.

The price for Diana’s archival clothing keeps climbing higher. The record at one point for highest fee paid was held by the Victor Edelstein gown sold for $604,800 at a Sotheby’s auction in January. In September, a trio of the late princess’s gowns fetched $1.62 million at auction, and that same month, the iconic (and still oft-imitated) black sheep sweater topped the record list when it was sold for $1.143 million. This latest sale just ekes by the historic knitwear to become the most expensive piece worn by the late princess.

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