Dianas iconic John Travolta dress bought by British gent to cheer up his wife

One of the most iconic dresses worn by Diana, Princess of Wales – a stunning off the shoulder number made famous when she danced with John Travolta – was bought by a British gent to "cheer up his wife."

The Victor Edelstein gown, which is midnight blue and made of velvet, was purchased at auction in 2013 for a whopping £200,000.

According to the auctioneer Kerry Taylor, that purchaser shifted the hefty sum because he was “a romantic gentleman who wanted basically to cheer up his wife.”

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Taylor reported that the gown had mostly been stored out of sight in a wardrobe when the frivolous gent decided he'd like to move it on, to no avail when it failed to sell at auction in December 2019.

Part of the motivation for the couple to offer up the gown to auction was a desire to see the gown in the public domain, Taylor said.

However, it failed to reach its estimate of between £250,000 and £300,000 and therefore wasn't sold at the “Passion for Fashion” auction from Kerry Taylor Auctions.

Even still, the dress retains its legendary status in the storied history that is Diana's wardrobe.

It was eventually bought by Historic Royal Palaces for £220,000 not long after the failed auction and was the star attraction when the princess' former home Kensington Palace reopened to the public in July 2019.

Diana wore the piece to a White House Gala in 1985, and was famously swept onto the dancefloor by Travolta.

Images of the princess and the Hollywood star twirling made headlines around the world and immortalised the dress in the eyes of the public.

The actor later described the experience as being "like a fairy tale".

However, it was apparently the royal's fantasy to dance with him, according to Nancy Reagan, the First Lady at the time.

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Speaking in a documentary, In Their Own Words, the legendary actor described the "storybook" moment he danced with Diana in photos that were seen around the world.

"About 10 o'clock at night, Nancy Reagan tapped on my shoulder and said, 'The princess, her fantasy is to dance with you'," the Saturday Night Fever star explained.

"Would you like to dance with her tonight? And I said, 'Well of course'," he explained.

"My heart starts to race, you know, and I tap [Diana] on the shoulder and she turns around and looks at me, and she had that kind of bashful dip [of her chin] that she did, and she looked up at me, and I said, 'Would you care to dance with me?'

"It was a storybook moment. We bowed when it was over, and, you know, she was off, and I was off, and my carriage turned into a pumpkin."

Diana's visit to the White House was part of her and Prince Charles' first official trip to the US.


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