The see-through dress Kate wore at a 2002 charity auction that allegedly caught William’s eye was auctioned yesterday (March 17) for £65,000 ($104,860), the Associated Press reports. Originally intended to be worn as a skirt, Kate reportedly chose to convert it into a dress and wore black lingerie underneath. The high bidder at the auction bought the now famous garment on behalf of an unknown individual he described only as “Nick from Jersey.” The bidder was quoted by BBC News as saying that Nick “thinks it’s an iconic piece and is very happy with the purchase.”
Here’s a video report from Sky News:
In other royal-related news:
• The see-through dress’s fame will soon be eclipsed by Kate’s wedding dress. The Telegraph has video of an interview with Alexandra Shulman, editor of Vogue UK. Shulman reportedly recommended to palace officials that Kate select Sarah Burton, leader of the Alexander McQueen label, as the wedding dress designer. But Shulman says she has no idea what Kate will wear. “If I only knew,” Shulman says with a laugh. “I imagine something that shows her figure off would be important, because that’s one of her strengths and something she seems pleased about.” Shulman also says it’s a mistake to think of Kate as a fashion plate. “She doesn’t particularly want to be a fashion personality. She wants to be all kinds of different kinds of things. I’m not sure fashion per se is her priority.”
• Kate and William will add multicultural elements to their wedding, The Jewish Chronicle reports. To reflect the diversity of British society, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish traditions will be incorporated into the Church of England ceremony. A small amount of mehndi, or turmeric, paste will be smeared on Kate’s hand in a Muslim pre-wedding ritual. In accordance with Hindu practice, the couple will offer each other a morsel of food to express mutual love and affection. And, in keeping with Jewish tradition, William will smash a glass with his foot. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “They want everyone to feel a part of the wedding. And while, religiously, the ceremony will be completely Anglican in nature, they felt it appropriate to include these small gestures towards other faiths. If the congregation at the Abbey want to wish the happy couple ‘mazel tov’ we will be very happy but this will be totally optional.”
• The Mirror reports that the first £5 coins commemorating the wedding began rolling off the Royal Mint’s presses yesterday (March 17). A spokeswoman says the Mint expects to sell about 250,000 of the coins worldwide. But numismatists doubt the coins will appreciate in value. “Generally, the value of commemorative coins does not increase very much because they are mass-produced,” says Matt Hill, editor of Stamp and Coin Mart. “People tend to collect items such as these to enjoy them, rather than how much money they may be worth in the future.” BBC News has video of an interview with Mark Richards, the coin’s designer, and shows how the coins are produced.
• One of charities listed in The Prince William & Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund has U.S. roots. PeacePlayers International, one of the 26 charities listed in the Fund, was started by brothers Brendan and Sean Tuohey of Washington, D.C. The organization goes to troubled areas such as Northern Ireland and mixes contending factions on the same basketball team. “Once you bring kids together from opposite sides of a conflict, you put them on the same team, you say ‘win,’ the competition takes over,” Brendan Tuohey told The Washington Examiner. “It’s just a great foundation to build trust.” PeacePlayers began a decade ago in Durban, South Africa. In addition to Northern Ireland, the charity also operates in Israel on the West Bank and in Cyprus.
• In what may by the ultimate in royal memorabilia, General Electric is offering a 5-foot 9-inch side-by-side refrigerator emblazoned with one of the official engagement photos, according to Get Connected magazine. The appliance had its origins on Facebook. GE asked its fans which design they would most like to see on one of their new, customizable refrigerators. “It certainly wipes the floor with your usual commemorative tea towels and mugs and is most definitely one of the most novel royal wedding products we have seen,” said David Garden, GE’s commercial director at Glen Dimplex Home Appliances. “Maybe even Prince Charles and Camilla will order one as a wedding gift for the couple.” We doubt it.