Princess Diana’s dresses to be auctioned in Canada

2011-05-21 07:48

St Petersburg – Fourteen dresses worn by Princess Diana, including a blue silk velvet gown she wore to dance with John Travolta at a 1985 White House dinner, will be put up for auction next month, their Florida owner said yesterday.

The value of most of the dresses in the collection ranges from $175 000 (R1.2 million) to $550 000, according to Waddington’s, the Canadian auction house that will handle the sale in Toronto on June 23.

The blue gown is listed at between $1 million and $1.25 million.

Diana was wearing it when she famously danced with Travolta at a White House dinner hosted by President Ronald Reagan.

The dresses were bought as an investment by Florida businesswoman Maureen Dunkel for a total of $700 000 in 1997, eight weeks before Diana was killed in a Paris car crash.

After Diana’s death, Dunkel organised a non-profit foundation to take them on tour and raise money for Diana’s charities.

“It has been an odyssey. Now is the time to wave goodbye,’’ Dunkel said in an interview.

She added that she hoped someone would buy all the dresses and keep the collection together.

The sale will take place a week before Diana’s son Prince William and his wife Kate arrive in Canada for a week-long visit. They were married April 29 at Westminster Abbey.

The dresses will be on view at Waddington’s from June 21 to June 23.

Pictures and estimated values of the dresses can be seen on Waddington’s website (www.waddingtons.ca).

Bids can be made in person or by telephone.

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