One of Princess Diana’s Famous Dresses Is Going Up for Sale

Updated: Sep. 01, 2023

The gown is anticipated to sell for up to $120,000.

Whether it be a wedding dress, biker shorts, a revenge dress or a tiara, Princess Diana could undoubtedly make any look she donned instantly iconic.

The princess’ timeless fashion has unequivocally shaped the world of style as we know it today, decades later. So much so that we compiled our own list of fashion tips inspired by the late Princess of Wales herself.

On Jan. 27, one lucky buyer will have the chance to purchase one of Diana’s classic gowns for themselves. And while its price tag may be steep, the gown does have historical context to justify its anticipated auction price of more than $100,000. Here’s why.

Which of Diana’s dresses are up for auction?

The strapless ball gown up for auction at Sotheby’s later this January is a stunning aubergine silk velvet piece. The dress is a Victor Edelstein original, from his 1989 Autumn collection.

An exquisite sweetheart neckline and smooth velvet material make this dress an instant classic. Not to mention a fashion win, fitting for Diana’s trademark of making practically any outfit she wore a beloved look.

What is the significance of the dress?

Princess Diana wore the gown on multiple occasions.

One particularly memorable moment of the princess wearing the piece was for a 1991 royal portrait with now-King Charles III (then Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales). Lovers of The Crown and royal fanatics may be interested to know that portrait was taken by Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon—Princess Margaret’s ex-husband.

Additionally, Princess Diana famously wore the gown for a Vanity Fair spread in 1997. The shoot occurred shortly before her passing in August of the same year.

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Was the dress auctioned more than once?

The Edelstein ball gown was not only worn more than once, it was sold more than once, as well.

Prior to the infamous car crash in 1997, Princess Diana organized a charity auction with the auction company, Christie’s, in which she donated 79 of her dresses to be sold. Typical of her celebrated selfless character, the $3.25 million dollars raised went to AIDs and cancer organizations. Of course, the Edelstein gown was included in those 79 dresses and sold for $24,150 at the 1997 event to a private owner.

At the time of the Vanity Fair spread, shot by Mario Testino, the auction was seen as a representation of Diana’s shift away from royal life. As season 5 of The Crown captures, that transitory period was highly covered by the media.

How much is the gown expected to sell for this time?

This is the first time in 25 years that the dress will appear at an auction. It is anticipated to sell for up to $120,000, if not more, at the Jan. 27 “The One,” New York event.

The Princess of Wales wears a Bellville Sassoon dress to the London premiere of the Bond film 'For Your Eyes Only', 24th June 1981.Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

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  • CNNStyle: “One of Princess Diana’s famous dresses is going up for sale”