Heritage

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret's Liberty-Print Dresses to Go Up for Auction

The sale will also include dresses worn by Princess Diana, and a silver box given by Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson.
IMAGE COURTESY OF KERRY TAYLOR AUCTIONS, GETTY IMAGES
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Dresses worn by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret and outfits worn by Princess Diana are among rare royal items to be sold at auction later this month.

A pair of Liberty printed silk dresses that the sisters wore during a 1935 trip to the theatre are expected to fetch up to £15,000 (roughly $19,000) and three-day outfits worn by Diana are estimated to be bought for up to £30,000 (roughly $38,000) each.

The royal clothes are being sold alongside costumes worn by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, for "It’s a Royal Knockout" in 1987, and a Georgian silver-gilt snuff box that Wallis Simpson and Prince Edward gave to friends as a Christmas present.


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This silver box was given as a Christmas present to Herman and Katherine Rogers by Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson, and is engraved "From Wallis and Edward, Christmas 1948."

The items are up for sale in south east London on June 17 and are described by Lucy Bishop from Kerry Taylor Auctions as giving "a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives and happy memories of the most fascinating family in the world."

"This important collection spans three generations of our royal family: from the engraved silver snuff box, given by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor as a thoughtful Christmas gift to close friends in 1948, to the co-ordinating Liberty-print dresses worn by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, who are photographed in 1935, enthralled by the magic of a pantomime show, to a youthful Princess Diana dressed in red, smiling broadly as she christens a cruise ship named in her honor in 1984,” Bishop tells T&C.

The Smith & Co Liberty printed dresses are shown alongside a photograph of the young princesses—then aged eight and four—watching a pantomime with their parents, the Duke and Duchess of York, at the Lyceum Theatre in February 1935.

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The Duke of York and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at the pantomime, in 1935.

Elizabeth’s dress is blue, printed with cherry blossom and fruits and Margaret’s is a contrasting peach-colored floral print. The items were clearly popular with the sisters who wore the dresses on several other occasions. They were given to the royal nanny Clara Knight, who they affectionately called Allah.

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Diana wears the peach and white polka dot dress during the Turkish President's state visit to the U.K.

The dresses belonging to Princess Diana are a red wool suit by Jasper Conran that she wore to engagements in 1984 and 1985, a blue and white damask silk ensemble specially commissioned by her wedding dress designers the Emanuels that she wore in 1986, and a Catherine Walker printed peach silk polka dot coat dress, which she appeared in several times.

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Also up for sale are sketches drawn for the princess by designer Karl Lagerfeld. When items of royal clothing go up for auction they are sometimes bought by the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection which holds items of clothing relating to the royals going back almost 500 years.

The auction takes place on, June 17, 2019, at Kerry Taylor Auctions in Bermondsey, London. For more information, visit kerrytaylorauctions.com.

*This article originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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