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Princess Diana’s cast-off hits rich seam of £160k for seller

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A DRESS worn by Princess Diana on a state visit to Bahrain has sold for £161,000 — 24 years after it was bought in a second-hand shop for £200.

An unnamed woman snapped up the David & Elizabeth Emanuel ivory silk gown in 1994 while working at the shop in Hereford. She hoped to wear it to a ball, but ended up leaving it boxed and unworn.

She knew it was Diana’s but only realised its significance recently when she watched a TV documentary about the princess and spotted the dress.

Demure: The gown Diana wore to a Bahrain banquet in 1986 conformed to rules of modesty PICTURES: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Yesterday, Kerry Taylor Auctions in south London sold it to an overseas museum after a heated bidding war between collectors. A sketch of the dress, designed to conform to Gulf customs, also sold for £7,150.

Miss Taylor said the vendor was ‘dancing around the sitting room with her son’. ‘She and her family are so delighted but I think they are still in shock. It’s a life-changing sum.’

She said the housekeeper of the nearby Mynde Park estate, home to Diana’s friend Caroline Twiston-Davies, took the dress to the shop eight years after the princess wore it and recalls bringing in many more.

‘They are all still out there somewhere. Lots of people might have a Diana dress and not realise,’ said Miss Taylor.