Princess Diana's iconic blue dress goes on display ahead of auction

The dress is expected to go for £300,000. [Photo: Getty]
The dress is expected to go for around £300,000. [Photo: Getty]

The iconic dress Princess Diana wore to dance with John Travolta at the White House is going up for auction next week.

The midnight blue Victor Edelstein velvet gown is expected to fetch between £250-350,000 at auction, but will first be displayed for one week.

The Princess of Wales wore the gown in 1985 to dance with the Grease star at a White House gala dinner.

She wore the dress, which was dubbed the “Travolta dress”, on many occasions after this evening, including for her last official portrait in 1997. Diana also wore it to a state visit to Austria in 1986 and a night at the Royal Opera House in 1991.

Kerry Taylor Auctions will auction off the gown. [Photo: SWNS]
Kerry Taylor Auctions will auction off the gown. [Photo: SWNS]

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Two months before Diana died, she sold the dress for £100,000 to Florida-based businesswoman Maureen Dunkel to raise money for HIV and AIDS charities. Maureen Dunkel kept it until she went bankrupt in 2011.

The man who purchased the dress last bought it for his wife, who had broken her leg, for £240,000.

The dress will be auctioned by Kerry Taylor Auctions along with two other of Diana’s navy blue dresses as part of a wider historical fashion auction. One dress is a wool day dress and the other is a blue velvet gown by Katherine Cusack.

“We've had a lot of American interest because that's where she wore it most famously.” Leading vintage expert Kerry Taylor said.

“It’s an incredible piece and it’s changed hands in the past number of years for many reasons.”

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Kerry Taylor has sold over 20 of Princess Diana's dresses. [Photo: SWNS]
Kerry Taylor has sold over 20 of Princess Diana's dresses. [Photo: SWNS]

The dresses are in good hands with Kerry Taylor, who has sold over 20 of Princess Diana’s previous collection.

“When she tried it on, Prince Charles is said to have to have walked in his uniform and said she looked wonderful in the gown and it would be perfect to wear with jewels.” Kerry, who described the dress as having a “stark beauty” said.

“She wore the piece with a sapphire and diamond necklace that was gifted to her by the Queen Mother.”

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The gown sits off the shoulders and remains fitted until around the knees in what would be referred to as a mermaid-cut dress today. It’s kept in place with a thick, velvet bow at the knee.

The old Hollywood glamour style of the dress reflected its White House audience, but the Princess of Wales continued to wear it on a number of other high-profile occasions.

Victor Edelstein made many dresses for Diana spanning 11 years. He made this dress especially for her, after she saw the cut of the dress in burgundy in this window of his Kensington store.

The sale takes place on 9 December.

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