DUBAI: A dress worn by Princess Diana during a visit to Bahrain and later bought at a second-hand clothes shop for $260, is to be sold at auction for up to 50 times that amount.
The ivory silk crepe dress, adorned with beige beads, crystals and diamonds, was created by David Emanuel and worn by the princess in 1986 during her royal tour of Gulf Arab states with her then husband Prince Charles.
The tour, which also saw the royal couple visit Saudi Arabia, gave the world an insight into how Diana would present herself in the region - with all the eyes on her, her wardrobe was famously stylish and sensitive.
But the dress was sold by a second-hand clothes shop after being donated by the housekeeper of the Mynde Park estate where the princess regularly visited.
Now the gown is expected to be sold at auction for more than $130,000.
The woman who bought the dress for a mere $260, told The Independent she had planned to wear the dress to a hunt ball, but decided not to.
She later discovered the dress’ potential value while watching a documentary in which Diana appeared wearing it.
The one-off gown will go on auction at Kerry Taylor Auctions in Bermondsey, south London, on Dec. 10.
“Many of the Princess Diana pieces that I've sold over the years have come from the charity auction that she held in the 1990s, but this one somehow missed that,” auctioneer Kerry Taylor told The Independent.
“It’s unusual that such an important dress has come from a second-hand shop, because normally the pieces that Diana sold to second-hand shops, which she often did, were from her daywear wardrobe.”