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Updated: June 9, 2010 15:50 IST

Princess Diana’s black ‘engagement dress’ fetches USD 276,000

PTI
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In this March 9, 1981 file photo, Lady Diana Spencer, then-fiancee of Britain's Prince Charles attends her first official engagement, a charity event at the Goldsmith's Hall, in London. The strapless silk taffeta dress worn by Lady Diana Spencer is expected to fetch between 30,000 pounds and 50,000 pounds ($36,000 to $61,000) at an auction on Tuesday. Photo: PTI.
In this March 9, 1981 file photo, Lady Diana Spencer, then-fiancee of Britain's Prince Charles attends her first official engagement, a charity event at the Goldsmith's Hall, in London. The strapless silk taffeta dress worn by Lady Diana Spencer is expected to fetch between 30,000 pounds and 50,000 pounds ($36,000 to $61,000) at an auction on Tuesday. Photo: PTI.

The black taffeta gown that Lady Diana Spencer wore just weeks after her engagement to Prince Charles in 1981, has fetched a staggering amount of USD 192,000 in an auction.

The gown, with a plunging neckline, designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel sold for nearly four times what it was expected to achieve.

The dress, which was estimated to sell for around the USD 61,000 was bought at an auction in London by a fashion museum in Chile.

It was the star attraction at an auction of items from the Emanuels’ archive held at La Galleria, in central London, by specialist vintage fashion auctioneers Kerry Taylor Auctions.

The Princess of Wales, who was then Lady Diana Spencer, wore the dress to a black—tie benefit event at Goldsmiths’ Hall in the City in March 1981, her first official engagement with her fiance, Charles, Daily Mail reported.

Most glamorous member of royal family

Diana was just 19 at that time and the couple were attending an event in aid of the Royal Opera House development. The photographs of the royal bride—to—be stepping out of a limousine in the black gown with the daring neckline made headlines and established her as the most glamorous member of the royal family.

Diana returned the gown to the designers to have it altered just before her wedding as she had lost weight but the designers made another one and the original remained forgotten for many years.

Elizabeth later wrote in her book that the bridal gown was created as a sample that had been loaned out to the actress Liza Goddard but Diana made it famous.

“The transformation was incredible. She arrived looking like the nursery school teacher she was, but now she looked like a movie star.

“We hadn’t considered the fact that when Diana bent over — as she would have to do when getting out of the car — she would show quite a lot of cleavage. We just thought she looked fabulous.”

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