Princess Diana's Jacques Azagury gown sells for a record $1.1 million

It is now the most expensive dress worn by the late royal to ever be sold

Princess Diana was photographed wearing the gown in Italy in 1985. Getty Images
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An evening gown once owned by Diana, Princess of Wales, has sold at auction for a record price of $1.1 million, more than 11 times its estimate.

The black and blue ballerina-length dress, by Moroccan-British designer Jacques Azagury, had been expected to sell for $100,000. It was sold along with a matching illustration for $1,148,080, making it the most expensive dress worn by Diana to ever be sold, according to Julien’s Auctions.

The previous record holder was a 1991 velvet gown by Victor Edelstein, which fetched $604,800 dollars at an auction in January.

Princess Diana first wore the dress to a dinner at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, while on a royal tour with Prince Charles in 1985. The velvet gown has a blue organza skirt, large bow, sash and shoulder pads. It was clearly a favourite – the princess also wore it to a performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 1986.

According to Julien’s Auctions, the ballerina skirt was “a nod to Diana’s love of dance and her being a patron of the English National Ballet”.

Azagury's website describes the bond the designer enjoyed with the princess, saying: “Jacques first met Diana Princess Of Wales in 1987 and held a very special relationship with the Princess and carried on dressing her until 1997.”

Azagury shuttered his famous Knightsbridge store in September. His creations, however, can still be found online.

The buyer of the Azagury dress remains unknown.

The auction was part of a four-day Hollywood Legends sale by Julien's Auctions and Turner Classic Movies, which featured a range of memorabilia.

Also under the hammer was a pink chiffon blouse that Diana wore for her 1981 engagement portrait to Prince Charles, shot by royal photographer Lord Snowdon. The blouse, which features a ruff collar and loose pleats on the front, was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who went on to design Diana's wedding dress. It had an estimate of $80,000-$100,000 and eventually sold for $381,000.

Hollywood stars' clothes also up for auction included a Givenchy dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1963 comedy Charade, a sleeveless gown worn by Gloria Swanson in the 1950 noir film Sunset Boulevard and Barbra Streisand's sailor dress from a 1960s special called My Name Is Barbra.

Updated: December 19, 2023, 10:34 AM