The famous red wool sweater decorated with sheep worn by Princess Diana in 1981, shortly after her engagement to Prince Charles, sold for more than $1.1 million on Thursday at Sotheby’s after a fierce bidding battle on Internet. The auction house confirmed the sale price, $1.1 million including fees and commission, about 14 times its high estimate ($80,000).

The sale, open on the Internet since August 31, came to life in the very last minutes, causing the final price to soar from 200,000 to 1.1 million with bidding at 50,000 dollars, noted Agence France -Press. Sotheby’s has claimed an auction record for a garment worn by Princess Diana, whose items continue to attract collectors 26 years after her death in a car crash in Paris.

Last January, American star Kim Kardashian bought a famous pendant worn by the princess, the Attalah crucifix, at an auction in London ($197,453). According to Sotheby’s, this is also a record for a sweater, now ahead of the olive green cardigan worn by Kurt Cobain in 1993 during Nirvana’s acoustic concert on MTV, an “Unplugged” that remains legendary ($334,000 in 2019).

Just after her engagement, Diana Spencer wore her red sweater with white sheep patterns, except for one black one, during a polo match attended by Prince Charles in June 1981, making an impression with her relaxed attitude. and creating, according to Sotheby’s, “a massive cultural and viral moment.” This public appearance also offered an unexpected publicity boost to their two creators, Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, and their brand Warm and Wonderful.

A few weeks later, they received a letter from Buckingham Palace explaining that the future Princess of Wales had damaged it and wanted to know if it was possible for them to repair or replace it. They had made a new copy, worn in 1983 by the Princess of Wales.

As for Diana’s first damaged sweater, it hadn’t been repaired and shipped to someone else, as the designers thought. In March 2023, Joanna Osborne found it in a box while searching for an old pattern in her attic and Sotheby’s confirmed its authenticity, according to the auction house’s account. Sotheby’s confirmed that the two designers were the consignees.

And, almost 40 years later, the model was relaunched in stores after a partnership between the Rowing Blazers brand and the duo Sally Muir and Jonana Osborne.