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Just a week before what would have been her 50th birthday, 14 of the iconic gowns worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, are going for auction.
With the see through slip dress worn by Catherine Middleton at her now infamous student fashion show fetching £78,000 ($125000) recently, the auction, due to be held in Toronto today, is expected to raise more than $5 million.
Certainly that is the hope of Tampa businesswoman Maureen Rorech Dunkel who set up a roadshow displaying Diana's iconic dresses , which include the famous black Victor Edelstein gown she wore on the night she danced with John Travolta at the White House, at venues around the world, including Kensington Palace,
She used the dresses, which she bought at the original auction in New York in 1997, as collateral against a housing project which failed. Now she has been forced to sell the gowns, which include dresses by designers Catherine Walker, Bruce Oldfield and Zandra Rhodes, to pay off her creditors.
Ms. Dunkel originally paid $670000 at the first Christie's auction, but tomorrow it is expected that some individual dresses will fetch that sum.
Even Diana would be surprised and somewhat amused by the money shelled out on her old clothes. When she first entered the royal family she told me that she only had a few blouses and couple of skirts to her name. She soon learned that the only thing that the royal family like to change is their clothes, switching outfits three times a day.
She was though always very touchy on the subject of how much she had paid for her clothes. On a tour of Italy she refused to wear the new gowns she had bought after a newspaper report - I admit I was the culprit - stated that she had spent £100000 on a wardrobe for her three week trip. Instead she recycled familiar favourites.
Ironically the auction takes place just a few days before Kate and William arrive for their first official overseas tour. All eyes will be on Kate not only to see how she copes but also her fashion choices With her penchant for High Street fashion it is doubtful that she will have come close to spending what just one of Diana's gown will make at today's auction.