Princess Diana: See How Much Her Most Iconic Dresses Really Went for at Auction
As the most photographed woman in the world, Princess Diana owned her share of extravagant, custom-made gowns. Many have auctioned for charity, both during her lifetime and since her untimely death — most fetching six figures.
Let’s walk down memory lane with some of Diana’s iconic dresses worn during historic moments. There’s the white silk number she called the “Elvis Dress” (page 4). And who can forget the velvet “John Travolta Gown,” named after the two famously danced together at the White House (page 5)? See how much people have paid for these and several other of Diana’s timeless gowns.
1. Green silk Catherine Walker dress
- Auctioned for: $81,250
The princess wore a vivid grass-green silk georgette gown by personal couturier Catherine Walker to a 1993 banquet at the Dorchester Hotel in London. She accessorized with a tiara, emerald jewelry, a green satin purse, and green satin shoes with jeweled buttons on the toes. The event was given by the Malaysian royal family. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip also attended. The gown auctioned for $81,250 in December 2014.
Next: Handmade with pearls and crystals
2. Cream-colored lace Zandra Rhodes dress
- Auctioned for: $100,000
In May 1997, the princess wore an ivory silk chiffon evening gown, hand-made by designer Zandra Rhodes, to the London Palladium Birthright benefit. The dress was printed with a “buttons and bows” pattern, with pink crystals and pearl beads stitched to the hemlines and edges. The gown fetched $100,000 at Julien’s Auctions on Los Angeles.
Next: A Grace Kelly-inspired gown
3. Pale blue silk chiffon gown
- Auctioned for: $127,000
Diana wore a powder blue Catherine Walker dress to the Cannes Film Festival in France in 1987. The timeless gown, famously inspired by Grace Kelly, was said to light up the red carpet. That evening, the princess and Prince Charles also attended a diamonds-optional gala dinner honoring Sir Alec Guinness. Charles gave a speech in Guinness’ honor. In 2011, the gown auctioned for more than $127,000.
Next: The famous Elvis dress
4. Elvis dress
- Auctioned for: $151,000
In 1989, Diana wore this now-famous white silk strapless dress packed with pearls and sequins, with a matching bolero jacket. The princess called this her “Elvis Dress” and wore it to the British Fashion Awards in October 1989 and to an official visit to Hong Kong. People magazine featured the gown, designed by Catherine Walker, on its covers in a tribute after Diana’s death. It auctioned for $151,000.
Next: Her iconic dance with John Travolta
5. The John Travolta gown
- Auctioned for: $222,500
Prince Diana wore this silky blue velvet gown when she famously danced with John Travolta at a White House dinner during the Reagan administration in 1985. Travolta later said first lady Nancy Reagan told him the princess wished to dance with him. So, around midnight he tapped her on the shoulder and asked, “Would you care to dance?”
The two then danced for 15 minutes in what Travolta later heard was a highlight for the princess from her U.S. visit. In 1985, the dress auctioned for $222,500, breaking Christie’s auction record of $145,000 for a garment.
Next: A pink dress fit for a ballet
6. Pearl and diamonte petal pink gown
- Auctioned for: $75,000
In July 1993, Princess Diana wore a pink Catherine Walker dress, embellished with beads and mock pearls to the Savoy Theatre in London. There, she unveiled a plaque to mark the theater’s re-opening after it was struck by a fire. She attended the opening program, performed by The English National Ballet. Her gown auctioned in December 2014 for $75,000.
Next: Her most talked-about dress?
7. Green sequin dress
- Sold for: $126,000
This Catherine Walker gown was also known as the Mermaid Dress due to its shimmering sequins. Diana wore it in Vienna, Austria in 1986 and also to a London charity event. The thigh-baring slit and plunging neckline instantly turned this into one of Diana’s most iconic dresses. Daily Mail reported a mystery woman from Florida bought it at auction and sold it for $126,000.
Next: The dress seen in a famous tribute
8. Icy blue Atelier Versace dress
- Auctioned for: $200,000
Diana was photographed in the now famous icy-blue Versace dress in 1991, and Harper’s Bazaar later featured it on the cover of its 1997 Princess Diana tribute edition. It is thought thought to be the first dress designer Gianni Versace created for the princess. (She went on to wear Versace dresses frequently.) It auctioned in 2015 for $200,000, more than double the expected amount.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!