Ten 'iconic' Princess Diana dresses up for auction in March

LONDON (AFP) - Ten dresses belonging to Britain's late Princess Diana, including a gown she famously wore while dancing with actor John Travolta, are to be sold in London next month, an auction house said on Wednesday.

The collection, due to go under the hammer on March 19, is believed to be worth at least £600,000 (S$1.1 million), a spokeswoman for Kerry Taylor Auctions told AFP.

The auction house said the lots included some of the "most important and iconic" dresses worn by Prince Charles's glamorous former wife, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi.

"Some of the gowns were worn for official State visits to Austria, Australia, Brazil, India, South Korea and the United States of America," said the auction house, which specialises in vintage fashion sales.

"Diana was photographed wearing them by not only by the paparazzi, but by some of the leading photographers of the day - including Mario Testino and Lord Snowdon."

The collection includes a midnight blue velvet gown by Victor Edelstein which Diana wore to a 1985 state dinner at the White House - where she twirled around the dance floor with Saturday Night Fever star Travolta.

The dresses were originally sold in a charity auction at Diana's request in New York in June 1997, just two months before she died.

"These elegant couture creations were made by some of her favourite designers - Zandra Rhodes, Catherine Walker, Bruce Oldfield and Victor Edelstein," said Kerry Taylor Auctions.

"One of them - a dark green velvet dinner gown has what appears to be the print of a small hand on the skirt - possibly that of a young prince?"

The princess, who became a global style icon and was famed for her charity work, wed heir to the throne Prince Charles in a lavish ceremony in 1981. They had two sons, William and Harry, but divorced in 1996.

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