Caroline Charles Dress
How the first dress came into my life…
My husband Livinio and I bought our first Lady Di dress on December 5, 2014. It was the Caroline Charles dress. Five dresses that once belonged to Diana were up for auction at Julien’s Auction House in Beverly Hills, CA. Knowing of my passion for all things Diana, my dear friend Kevin took me on a date just to go look at them. In 1997, Kevin and I went to another Diana dress auction at Christie's in New York. Back then, we enjoyed looking but there was no way we could afford any of the dresses. In December 2014, Livinio and I had saved some money and were about to invest it in a restaurant with a local business owner. But once I saw that the dresses were up for auction, Livinio and I agreed that owning 100% of a piece of history would be a better investment than owning 5% of a restaurant.
We had a set budget and off to auction I went.
The Caroline Charles dress was the first to go to auction. I gravitated to this dress as it was not a dress that had been auctioned at 1997 Christie's auction, it was a little rare in that it came from a private collector. Not only that, this was the dress that Diana was photographed in carrying Prince William (the future King of England), in 1982…….. the same year I met her in Australia!
The bids kept going and going, but, luckily the other bidder eventually stopped and I heard “SOLD” to paddle 186.
That was me! I fell on the ground as the auction house applauded.
I was shaking.
Winning this dress at auction made a huge impact on me. I was stunned that years of hard work had enabled someone who came from very modest means in rural Australia to actually own a dress that had belonged to Princess Diana. More than that I also felt incredible having a piece of Diana in my life. It’s a big responsibility!
Visit the Princess Diana 3D Virtual Museum to see this dress, a historic piece of fashion history.