News and views on the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton
Getting a piece of the royals
Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of the royals. From Kate Middleton’s dress to the estate of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, people are tripping over themselves to get hold of something with an association to the monarchy.
The most extreme example was probably the 65,000 pounds/$105,000 (plus a 13,000-pound commission) paid out by an unidentified buyer from Jersey for a see-through, black mesh slip dress designed by Charlotte Todd and worn by royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton at a charity fashion event in 2002. The significance of the racy item is that it is widely believed to have convinced Prince William, who was in the audience on that day, that Middleton was the one for him. The couple are to marry in Westminster Abbey on April 29.
At the same auction in London on Thursday, a Louis Vuitton vanity case fetched 48,000 pounds. Why? Because it once belonged to Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, the woman at the heart of the 1936 constitutional crisis in Britain that led to the abdication of King Edward VIII.
Over in Amsterdam, Sotheby’s held a four-day sale of items from the estate of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, and raised more than 5 million euros for charity compared with a pre-sale estimate of 1.5 million euros.
Every one of the 1,535 lots found a buyer, making it a “white-glove” sale and underlining the appetite out there for royal relics. Top lot at that auction was a Chinese tea service which fetched 205,000 euros, five times expectations.