Princess Diana's iconic 'John Travolta Dress' sells for $290,000

One of Princess Diana's most iconic dresses will make a return to Kensington Palace after being sold for $290,000 this week.

The midnight-blue Victor Edelstein gown that the royal wore during a November 1985 visit to the White House was purchased by the independent charity Historic Royal Palaces after initially failing to sell with Kerry Taylor auctions on Dec. 9. The gown, which the princess paired with a regal pearl sapphire choker, quickly became one of the royal's most famous looks after photos of her dancing and twirling with actor John Travolta during a reception held by President Reagan surfaced.

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Princess Diana dances with John Travolta at the White House
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Princess Diana dances with John Travolta at the White House
American actor John Travolta twirls Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, on the dance floor while at a White House banquet. In the background, American President Ronald Reagan with wife Nancy. (Photo by jean-Louis Atlan/Sygma via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 09: (FILE PHOTO) Diana, Princess Of Wales, watched by President Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy, dances with John Travolta at the White House, USA on November 9, 1985. Diana is wearing a midnight blue velvet dress by designer Victor Edelstein. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage) On July 1st Diana, Princess Of Wales would have celebrated her 50th Birthday Please refer to the following profile on Getty Images Archival for further imagery. http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=107811125&EditorialProduct=Archival For further images see also: Princess Diana: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Account/MediaBin/LightboxDetail.aspx?Id=17267941&MediaBinUserId=5317233 Following Diana's Death: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Account/MediaBin/LightboxDetail.aspx?Id=18894787&MediaBinUserId=5317233 Princess Diana - A Style Icon: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Account/MediaBin/LightboxDetail.aspx?Id=18253159&MediaBinUserId=5317233
File Photo: Princess Diana on her visit to America and wearing an evening dress designed by Victor Edelstein, dances with movie star John Travolta in the White House on November 9, 1985. (Photo by © Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
John Travolta twirls Princess Diana on the dance floor while at a White House banquet. Ronald and Nancy Reagan can be seen in the background. (Photo by © Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
File photo: Princess Diana dances with actor John Travolta in a dress designed by Victor Edelstein, whilst attending a State Dinner at the White House. On the fifth anniversary of Princess Diana's death her loss is mourned by many people among them the fashion designers whose creations she wore with great style. (Photo by © Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 9: Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing an evening dress designed by Victor Edelstein, dances with movie star John Travolta at the White House during her visit to America on November 9, 1985 in Washington DC, U.S.A. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 09: Diana, Princess Of Wales, watched by President Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy, dances with John Travolta at the White House, USA on November 9, 1985. Diana is wearing a midnight blue velvet dress by designer Victor Edelstein. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, visit Washington DC, Gala Dinner at the White House, John Travolta, 9th November 1985. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - JUNE 22: Diana, Princess Of Wales's Dresses On Display At Christie's, New York, Prior To The Sale. The Blue Dress Was Designed By Fashion Designer Victor Edelstein. It Was The Dress In Which Diana Danced With John Travolta At The White House. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
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The dress will join the organization’s Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, which features more than 10,000 royal artifacts dating back to the 16h century and will likely either be stored in Hampton Court or Kensington Palace. It’s rumored to be joining an exhibition at Kensington Palace, where Diana resided from 1981 and after her divorce from Prince Charles. Historic Royal Palaces currently has one of Princess Diana’s favorite dresses on display right now: A Catherine Walker evening gown that she first wore in 1987 and many times after.

A close-up of the late royal's gown at the auction (Getty) 

Curator Eleri Lynn has called the famous Edelstein gown a "key moment in the story of 20th-century royal fashion." 

She said:

"We’re delighted to have acquired this iconic evening gown for the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection — a designated collection of national and international importance — over twenty years since it first left Kensington Palace... The photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales dancing with John Travolta at the White House wearing this midnight blue Victor Edelstein gown are known the world over, with the dress’s twirling velvet skirt playing no small part in making this such a memorable image."

Diana had worn the off-the-shoulder gown many times after that 1985 visit, but she later auctioned off the gown in June 1987 along with 78 other outfits to help raise money for charity. 

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Princess Diana and her fabulous travels
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Princess Diana and her fabulous travels
GIBRALTAR- AUGUST 01: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing a Donald Campbell dress, leave for their honeymoon cruise on the Royal Yacht Britannia on August 01, 1981 in Gibraltar. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
The Prince and Princess of Wales leave Gibraltar on the Royal Yacht Britannia for their honeymoon cruise, 1st August 1981. The Princess wears a Donald Campbell dress. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
BALMORAL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 19: The Prince And Princess Of Wales On Their Honeymoon In Balmoral, Scotland (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
BALMORAL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 19: Prince Charles With His Arm Around Princess Diana As They Sit On A Style During Their Honeymoon At Balmoral In Scotland.the Princess Is Wearing A Suit Designed By Bill Pashley With A Pair Of Shoes By The Chelsea Cobbler. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
15th June 1983: Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, (1961 - 1997) on holiday in Nova Scotia. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
FRANCE - UNDATED: Princess Diana, Princess of Wales poses in a bikini whilst on holiday in the South of France. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
VIRGIN ISLANDS - UNDATED: Princess Diana, Princess of Wales enjoys a swim in the Virgin Islands. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
FRANCE: The Princess of Wales enjoys a swim in the South of France. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
KLOSTERS, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 1986: Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing red ski gear and a red and white head band, enjoys a skiing holiday in Klosters, Switzerland in February 1986. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
(From left to Right) Prince Charles, Princess Diana, The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and The Duke of York Prince Andrew posing for photographers on their skiing holiday at the Swiss resort of Klosters. Wednesday 17th February 1987. (Photo by Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
KLOSTERS, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 17: The Duchess Of York (sarah Ferguson) And Princess Diana Having Fun On Holiday In Klosters. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Members of the British Royal Family on a ski holiday, (L-R) Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Diana and the Duchess of York, in Grisons, Switzerland, February 17th 1987. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Princess Diana on a ski holiday in Klosters, Switzerland, February 6th 1986. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
KLOSTERS, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 06: Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing red ski gear and a red and white head band, enjoys a skiing holiday on February 06, 1986 in Klosters, Switzerland. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
MAJORCA-AUGUST 10: (FILE PHOTO) Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with Prince William and Prince Harry on holiday in Majorca, Spain on August 10, 1987. Also present were the Spanish Royal Family and the Prince of Wales. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
MAJORCA, SPAIN - AUGUST 08: Prince Charles And Princess Diana With Prince William And Prince Harry On Holiday In Majorca. Also Present Are Queen Sofia Of Spain And Infanta Elena. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
PALMA, SPAIN - AUGUST 10: Diana, Princess of Wales poses with Queen Sofia of Spain during a summer holiday in Majorca on August 10, 1987 in Palma, Spain. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Princess Diana (1961 - 1997, left) with the Duchess of York during a skiing holiday in Klosters, Switzerland, 9th March 1988. (Photo by James Andanson/Sygma via Getty Images)
Left to right: the Duchess of York, Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) and Prince Charles during a skiing holiday in Klosters, Switzerland, 9th March 1988. (Photo by James Andanson/Sygma via Getty Images)
NECKER ISLAND, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - JANUARY 9: Diana, Princess of Wales, with Prince Harry on holiday on Necker Island , on January 9, 1989 in Necker Island, British Virgin Islands. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
NECKER ISLAND, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - JANUARY 9: Diana, Princess of Wales, on holiday on Necker Island , on January 9, 1989 in Necker Island, British Virgin Islands. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
NECKER ISLAND, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - JANUARY 9: Diana, Princess of Wales, on Necker Island , on January 9, 1989 in Necker Island, British Virgin Islands. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
NECKER ISLAND, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - JANUARY 9: Diana, Princess of Wales, on Holiday on Necker Island , on January 9, 1989 in Necker Island, British Virgin Islands. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
NECKER ISLAND - APRIL 11: Princess Diana In Leopardskin Swimming Costume And Sarong On Holiday In Necker Island In The Caribbean (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
The Prince and Princess of Wales holiday on a yacht with King Constantine II of Greece, 1990. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)
NECKER ISLAND, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - APRIL 11: Diana, Princess of Wales, with Prince William, on Holiday In Necker Island In The Caribbean, on April 11, 1990, in the British Virgin Islands. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
SPAIN - AUGUST 15: Princess Diana on holiday in Majorca with King Constantine of Greece and his daughter, Princess Theodora on the King's yacht, Fortuna. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
MAJORCA, SPAIN - AUGUST 15: Princess Diana On Board The Yacht Fortuna On Summer Holiday In Majorca (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
MAJORCA, SPAIN - AUGUST 15: Diana, Princess of Wales, on board the yacht of King Juan Carlos of Spain 'Fortuna' on summer holiday on August 15, 1990 in Majorca, Spain (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS - JANUARY 1993: Diana, The Princess of Wales walks in the sea on January 1993 in the Island of Nevis. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) in the surf off the Island of Nevis, during a Caribbean holiday, 2nd January 1993.(Photo by Thierry Orban/Sygma via Getty Images)
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS - JANUARY 1993: Diana, The Princess of Wales walks in the sea on January 1993 in the Island of Nevis. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
The Princess of Wales (C) watches for a wave while surfing at Indian Castle Beach 02 January 1993. Princess Diana is vacationing with her sons William and Harry. (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS - JANUARY 1993: Diana, The Princess of Wales walks in the sea on January 1993 in the Island of Nevis. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
GIZA, EGYPT - MAY 12: Diana Princess of Wales visiting the Pyramids in Giza during an official tour of Egypt. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
GIZA, EGYPT - MAY 12: Diana Princess of Wales visits the Pyramids in Giza during an official tour of Egypt. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS - JANUARY 1993: Diana, The Princess of Wales walks in the sea on January 1993 in the Island of Nevis. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
LECH, AUSTRIA - MARCH 25: Diana, Princess Of Wales, On A Spring Ski-ing Holiday With Her Sons, Prince William And Prince Harry, And Her Friend Kate Menzies. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
AUSTRIA - MARCH 26: Diana, Princess of Wales running whilst on a skiing holiday in Lech, Austria (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Princess Diana (back row, R), along with her friends Kate Menzies (back row C) and Catherine Soames (back row, L), rides 26 August 1993 the Splash Mountain ride at Disney World's Magic Kingdom during the third day of their vacation. Front row left is Prince Harry, son of Princess Diana. Other passengers are unidentified. (Photo credit should read BOB PEARSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo taken on July 14, 1997 shows Britain's Lady Diana taken by an unidentified young girl for a jet-ski ride off the property of her friend Dodi Al-Fayed in Saint Tropez, on the French Riviera. Diana, Princess of Wales, and her companion, the Egyptian millionaire film-producer Dodi al-Fayed, died in Paris early 31 August after a midnight car crash. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick HERTZOG (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo taken on July 14, 1997 shows Britain's Lady Diana taken by an unidentified young girl for a jet-ski ride off the property of her friend Dodi Al-Fayed in Saint Tropez, on the French Riviera. Diana, Princess of Wales, and her companion, the Egyptian millionaire film-producer Dodi al-Fayed, died in Paris early 31 August after a midnight car crash. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick HERTZOG (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)
ST TROPEZ, FRANCE - JULY 17 1997: (FILE PHOTO) Diana, Princess of Wales and son HRH Prince William are seen holidaying with Dodi Al Fayed (not pictured) in St Tropez in the summer of 1997, shortly before Diana and Dodi were killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. The inquests into both of their deaths are due to start in early 2004. (Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage)
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