Princess Diana’s "most ornate, romantic" gown is up for auction and is expected to sell for up to £80,000.
The fairytale while and gold gown was designed by the Emanuels, who famously created Diana’s wedding dress, and is being sold by Kerry Taylor Auctions next month. Diana loved the dress so much that, unusually, she decided to acquire the show model rather than commission a unique gown from the designers.
The dress is a UK standard size 10, which fitted Diana perfectly.
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Elizabeth Emanuel has fond memories of Diana wearing this magical dress, which was from a collection inspired by the beautiful print designs of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe.
"David and I were very excited when Princess Diana chose one of the dazzling dresses to wear at the James Bond premier ‘View to a Kill’, the last appearance on screen of Roger Moore as the famous spy 007," said Elizabeth. " She had spotted this particular dress hanging on a rail and immediately tried it on. It fitted her perfectly and we knew she would draw gasps from the crowd when she made her sparkling entrance. "
"I remember the Princess was worried that the original frilled cap sleeves might get crushed when she took her seat in the cinema and so we removed them. As usual the Princess was right. She looked even more stunning because the dress was less fussy and now the fitted bodice emphasized her beautiful shoulders and her tiny waist."
Kerry Taylor told HELLO! Online, "The dress is very lavish and beautiful – the richness of the gold embroidery and pearls contrasting with the crisp white layers of silk organza and satin. The fitted strapless bodice is heavily jewelled, reminiscent of costume seen in historic regal portraiture of centuries past."
Diana wore the dress on other occasions including on a visit to the Royal Opera House on 22 July 1986, the eve of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York. The royal later sold the dress through Christies in New York to raise money for her favourite charities.
The dress is being sold by Kerry Taylor Auctions in London who are known for selling historically important royal garments. Their previous lots have included a nightshirt worn by King Charles I and Kate Middleton’s famous see-through fashion show dress. The auction house has sold many of Princess Diana’s dresses previously, including the velvet floor-length gown that she wore to dance with John Travolta.
The white Emanuel dress will be auctioned on 3 December, and will feature another unique royal memento, a tiny pair of bellows used for powdering the wig of King George II.
The mahogancy bellows, which are 16cm long, feature his royal cypher GRIII, would have been used by his valet to administer the fashionable tinted power to the wig before it was placed on the King’s head.