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A collection of the late Diana, Princess of Wales’s dresses which she auctioned off for charity in London in 1997 herself, will go under the hammer again this December in Beverly Hills, California.
Prince Charles was originally married to Princess Diana before her fatal accident in France.
The outfits, all but one designed by the late Catherine Walker, Diana’s personal couturier and close friend for 16 years, are estimated to fetch between $60,000 and $100,000.
At the highest end of the price spectrum is a cream lace dress designed by Zandra Rhodes and worn by Diana in 1987 to the Birthright Benefit at the London Palladium; while bidders on a lower budget might snap themselves up a pair of cuff-links commemorating Diana and Prince Charles’ 1981 wedding, valued at $600 to $800.
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Under the hammer: This cream lace dress designed by Zandra Rhodes (left) and worn by Diana in 1987 to the Birthright Benefit at the London Palladium (right) is estimated to fetch between $80,000 and $100,000
The June 1997 auction, Dresses from the Collection of Diana, Princess of Wales, was handled by Christie’s of London, only one month before Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris at the age of 36.
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The anonymous winners will now part with their collectors items at the upcoming Beverly Hills show, handled by Julien’s Auctions,
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Along with the items, which will go up for auction December 5, is a copy of an oversized catalogue which accompanied the original auction, as well as an invitation to the event; signed by Diana, and valued at between $2,000 and $4,000.
Emerald: A vivid green silk gown by Catherine Walker (left), which Diana wore in 1993 to a banquet at the Dorchester Hotel, London, (right) is expected to fetch between $60,000 and $80,000
Princess pink: A Catherine Walker dress, embellished with beads and mock pearls (left) was worn by Diana in 1993 to the Savoy Theatre in London (right) and is also estimated to sell for up to $80,000
A handwritten letter from Diana, using her Kensington Palace stationary and dated June 1997 reads: ‘The inspiration for this wonderful sale comes from just one person… our son William.’
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Other garments that will feature will include a Catherine Walker petal pink dress, embellished with beads and mock pearls, worn by Diana in 1993 to the Savoy Theatre in London and estimated to fetch between $60,000 and $80,000.
A vivid green silk gown Diana wore the same year, also in London, to a banquet at the Dorchester Hotel, is also expected to go for between $60,000 and $80,000.
Additionally, a strapless monochrome number which she wore to a private event, is estimated at the same value.
Princess Diana dresses. Peer inside the Royal wardrobe (archive)
Black and white delight: This strapless monochrome number, also designed by Catherine Walker and worn by Diana to a private event, is also up for auction
Pals: Miss Walker (left) who died in 2012 after a long battle with cancer, created over 1,000 outfits for Diana (right) during her tenure as her personal couturier. Pictured: June 1997, a month before Diana’s death
Full circle: The collection was originally auctioned off for charity in London in 1997 by Diana herself. A copy of an oversized catalog which accompanied the auction (pictured) is also for sale
Handwritten: A letter from Diana dated June 1997 (left) reads, ‘The inspiration for this wonderful sale comes from just one person… our son William.’ – and her signature on the auction catalog (right)
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Ms Walker, who died in 2012 after a long battle with cancer, worked tirelessly to create over 1,000 outfits for Diana; from right after her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, to until her death in 1997.
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According to a friend of Miss Walker, journalist Alison Jane Reid – who wrote an in-depth story about her for MailOnline in 2010 – the Princess and the designer were close, and their relationship founded on ‘loyalty and total discretion.’
Reid wrote: ‘After Diana’s separation from Prince Charles in 1992, clothes became even more important to her.
‘Together, the two women devised a joint strategy of ‘defiant’ frocks – body-conscious but without vulgarity – that Diana wore in separation and divorce.’
A steal: Bidders on a lower budget might snap themselves up a pair of cuff-links commemorating Diana and Prince Charles’ 1981 wedding, valued at $600 to $800 (pictured)
Legacy: In keeping with the royal theme at the Julien’s auction, a slice of cake from the 2011 royal wedding of Diana’s son Prince William, and the daughter-in-law she never met, Kate Middleton (pictured) is on sale
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Best not to actually eat it: The cake (pictured) comes in a presentation tin and is estimated to fetch between $1,000 and $2,000
You’re invited: Also under the hammer is a blank invitation to the same wedding, printed on the Queen’s Buckingham Palace stationary (pictured)
In keeping with the royal theme at the Julien’s auction, a slice of cake from the 2011 royal wedding of Diana’s son Prince William, and the daughter-in-law she never met, Kate Middleton, is estimated to fetch between $1,000 and $2,000.
And also under the hammer is a blank invitation to the same wedding, printed on Queen Elizabeth II’s Buckingham Palace stationary.
‘The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by The Queen to invite __ to the Marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G. with Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on Friday 29th April at 11.00 a.m.,’ it reads. ‘Dress: Uniform, Morning Coat or Lounge Suit.’
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