Dress worn by Princess Diana sells for new record of $1.14 million

The ballerina-length evening dress, which was estimated to sell for between $100,000 and $200,000, was worn by Diana at a dinner in Florence, Italy.
Diana, Princess of Wales waves to the crowd in Sydney Australia on November 1, 1996
Posted at 2:35 PM, Dec 19, 2023

A dress worn by the late Princess Diana in 1985 recently sold at auction for over $1.1 million, setting a new sale record for one of her dresses. 

The ballerina-length evening dress, which was estimated to sell for between $100,000 and $200,000, was worn by Diana at a dinner hosted by the Mayor of Florence during an official royal tour of Italy. 

It’s made with shoulder pads, which are synonymous with the decade, a black velvet bodice with embroidered stars in a metallic thread and a two-tier royal blue organza skirt complete with a sash and bow. 

Julien’s Auctions, an exclusive auction house in Beverly Hills known for its sales of Hollywood memorabilia, said the dress was designed by Moroccan-British fashion designer Jacques Azagury for the Princess of Wales. The ballerina skirt was a nod to Diana’s love of dance and her support of The English National Ballet. 

She wore many of Azagury’s designs over the years after first being introduced to his work when she accompanied then-British Vogue fashion editor Anna Harvey to the London Design Trade Show. One of her favorites was an ice blue silk mini dress she wore on June 3, 1997, to a performance of “Swan Lake” at Royal Albert Hall, according to Julien’s. 

The dress was previously on display at Kensington Palace in London. According to People magazine, the previous record sale for one of Diana’s dresses was set earlier this year when her purple evening gown by designer Victor Edelstein sold for $604,800.

Last year, a car driven by Diana in the 1980s sold for $764,000 at auction in England, just days before the 25th anniversary of her tragic death.

Julien’s said all of the proceeds from the sale will benefit The New York Historical Society. 

The dress was sold as part of a four-day auction event titled “Hollywood Legends” in collaboration with Turner Classic Movies. The last day of the event featured “some of the most head turning and star making pieces of the greatest style icons of all time,” according to Julien’s website. 

A pale pink blouse worn by the Princess of Wales in her engagement portrait was also sold at the auction for $381,000. It was designed by the same duo — David and Elizabeth Emanuel — who would later design her iconic wedding gown, according to Julien’s. 

Both of Diana’s clothing items received the highest bids in Julien’s “Glamour, Grace and Greatness” collection, signifying her continuing allure even decades after her death. 

Other notable items at the auction from Hollywood royalty were Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy dress and coat worn in “Charade,” which sold for $58,500 and $29,250, respectively, and a carriage clock belonging to Marilyn Monroe, which sold for $6,500. 

Former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed dies at 94
Italian actress Sophia Loren, right, with Mohamed Al Fayed outside Al Fayed's Harrods store

Former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed dies at 94

Mohamed Al Fayed, the flamboyant Egypt-born businessman whose son was killed in a car crash with Princess Diana, has died, his family says.