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Kate Middleton’s See-Through Dress May Fetch $16,000 at Auction

Middleton's see-through dress
Designer Charlotte Todd with the see-through dress that Kate Middleton wore (with Prince William in attendance) at the annual St. Andrew's University charity fashion show in 2002. The garment was estimated at 8,000 pounds to 10,000 pounds at Kerry Taylor Auctions on March 17, 2011. It sold for 78,000 pounds. Source: Kerry Taylor Auctions via Bloomberg

A see-through dress that Royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton wore at a charity fashion show is expected to sell for as much as 10,000 pounds ($16,000) at an auction in London next month.

Middleton wore the diaphanous knitted lace dress, designed by Charlotte Todd, during the annual charity fashion show in 2002 at St. Andrew’s University, where she and Prince William were students. The two of them were just friends before the prince, who’d paid 200 pounds for a front-row seat, saw her sashaying down the runway in Todd’s creation, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper.

“If it is true that my design helped change the prince’s interest in Kate from platonic to romantic as has been reported, then I am pleased to have played a part -- however minor,” said Todd in a statement released today by the fashion specialists Kerry Taylor Auctions.

The dress -- originally designed as a skirt -- is being sold by Todd on March 17, six weeks before the Royal wedding. The lot will carry a low estimate of 8,000 pounds.

“There’s world fascination in anything to do with Kate Middleton at the moment,” auctioneer Kerry Taylor said in an interview. “Whoever is going to buy this dress is going to make headline news. If you want to get publicity for yourself or your museum, this is a good way to do it.”

The dress will be the first piece of Middleton memorabilia that has appeared at auction, she said.

“Poor girl,” said Taylor. “I’m the first to do it, for which I apologize in advance.”

Taylor’s “Passion for Fashion Auction” will also include two evening dresses worn by Prince William’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Designed by Zandra Rhodes and Catherine Walker, these are expected to sell for 30,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds and 40,000 pounds to 60,000 pounds, respectively.

(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

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