Diana, Princess of Wales’ famous gown dubbed her “John Travolta dress” is to go on display after remaining in lockdown for months.
The dress, bought by Historic Royal Palaces for £220,000 last December, will now be the star attraction when the princess’ former home Kensington Palace reopens to the public on Thursday.
Diana wore the midnight blue velvet gown, designed by Victor Edelstein, 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”.
Sam Owen, Head of Kensington Palace, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming visitors back to the palace again this Thursday.
“Kensington Palace was built to be enjoyed by hundreds of people and it’s been sad to see it so quiet over the past couple of months.
“Myself and the team can’t wait to welcome visitors back again and give them a suitably royal welcome. We’ve never needed their support more – each visit is an important contribution to help us maintain this wonderful building for generations to come.”
The gown – which Diana originally spotted in burgundy but asked Edelstein to make in blue – did not reach its reserve price of £200,000 when it went to auction.
It had been expected to fetch between £250,000 and £350,000 at the Passion for Fashion sale at Kerry Taylor Auctions in London.
But it later sold post-auction for £220,000 to Historic Royal Palaces, a charity which looks after a number of historic buildings including Kensington Palace.
Kensington Palace closed in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and has since been quiet, with the shutters of its famous galleries closed to protect the collections on display.
A royal residence for more than 300 years, it is the birthplace of Queen Victoria and the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family.
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