Princess Diana dress fetches more than $1.7 million at auction

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“There were a lot of people online, on the phones and even live, so great interest, as expected.”

Nolan said they had kept Kensington Palace informed about the sale in case the royal family wanted to “reacquire” anything.

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He added: “What’s interesting about this dress as well is that Diana sold it herself in June of 1997, when William encouraged her to sell dresses.

“It raised money for charity then, and here we go again – it’s going to a worthwhile charitable organisation with the New York Historical Society. And so Diana, her legacy, is with us – she still continues to do good 26 years since we lost her.”

The gown was sold by the New-York Historical Society and all proceeds will be ploughed back into the museum.

The dress was first sold at auction in June 1997, just two months before the princess’s death.

It formed part of a charity sale titled Dresses From the Collection of Diana, Princess of Wales by Christie’s in New York and was purchased by Time Inc for $US26,450.

The Time Inc Archives then donated it to the New-York Historical Society in 2015.

The late princess first wore the dress at a dinner hosted by the mayor of Florence during a royal tour with her then-husband Charles, Prince of Wales – now the King – in April 1985.

She wore it again to a performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Orpheum Theatre in the Canadian city in May 1986, when she and Charles were on an official visit to open the Expo ’86 World’s Fair.

The gown was made with fabric chosen by world-renowned textile merchant Jakob Schlaepfer and features a black velvet bodice embellished with metallic embroidered stars.

It has padded shoulder pads, typical of designs in the 1980s, long sleeves and a two-tier royal blue organza skirt with a sash and bow.

The ballerina skirt was considered a nod to the princess’s patronage of the English National Ballet and her love of dance.

It has a Jacques Azagury label and is marked a size 10, “Made In England.”

Diana in another Azagury dress, seen here in June 1997 at the Royal Albert Hall for a performance of Swan Lake just weeks before she died.Credit: AP

The princess was introduced to Azagury when she accompanied the late Anna Harvey, who was then British Vogue’s fashion editor and went on to become a fashion columnist for London’s Telegraph, to a show in 1985.

Azagury was said to have been in awe when the princess came into his store in Knightsbridge, west London, three weeks later to purchase the dress she had seen on display.

The princess went on to wear numerous dresses and gowns by the designer, one of her favourites being an ice blue silk georgette mini-dress worn in June 1997 to the Royal Albert Hall for a performance of Swan Lake.

Azagury, who announced last month that he was retiring and selling his Knightsbridge store, said: “Her visits were very relaxed, she loved chatting to the girls here.

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“She didn’t ask me to design specific dresses for her, she knew that she could come here and find something she’d love and that we could adapt it and create a unique dress for whatever occasion she needed.

“Each dress that I made for Diana was special for me.”

The Telegraph, London

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