Princess Diana's Iconic Velvet Gown Is Returning to Kensington Palace After Failed Auction

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)

Remember the iconic blue velvet ball gown that Princess Diana wore at the White House? Well, it recently went back up for auction, and it was a total flop…sorta.

Here’s what you need to know: Back in 1985, the royal traveled across the pond and attended a state dinner hosted by Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Princess Diana wore an off-the-shoulder gown by Victor Edelstein, which immediately became one of her most classic looks.

Prior to her death in 1997, Princess Diana auctioned off a slew of dresses—including the blue Edelstein number—to raise money for the Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Fund and the AIDS Crisis Trust. Although the velvet gown has had several owners over the years, it recently came back on the market.

Kerry Taylor Auctions held the sale on Monday, December 9. Although the dress was supposed to go for an estimated £350,000 (about $454,000), it failed to sell.

As a result, Historic Royal Palaces—a charity that acquires and cares for historic artifacts—stepped in and purchased the iconic state dinner gown for $290,000. The dress will be conserved by specialists before joining the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection display at Kensington Palace.

Eleri Lynn, the curator at Historic Royal Palaces, announced the exciting news in a statement, saying, “We’re delighted to have acquired this iconic evening gown for the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection—a designated collection of national and international importance—over 20 years since it first left Kensington Palace.”

BRB, brainstorming hypothetical reasons to justify traveling across the pond.

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