Princess Diana's Iconic Sheep Sweater Just Sold for $1.1 Million—After Being Lost in an Attic for 40 Years

Princess Diana first wore the famous sweater to a polo match in 1981.

<p>Tim Graham / GETTY IMAGES</p>


Princess Diana was known for her strong sense of fashion that, in many ways, differed from the societal expectations of the royal family. One of her most notable looks was a red sweater covered with dozens of white sheep, save for a single black one in the center. The whereabouts of the famous sweater were unknown for about 40 years, until it was recently uncovered in an attic and brought to Sotheby's auction house—where it just sold for $1.14 million.

<p>Courtesy of Sotheby's</p>

Courtesy of Sotheby's

Related: Princess Diana Had a Secret Backup Wedding Dress—and the Designer Just Released a Sketch and Photos

The sweater was first worn in June 1981, when a newly engaged Princess Diana wore it to her fiancé's—the Prince of Wales (now King Charles III)—polo match. According to Sotheby's listing, the sweater was one of the first designs by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne of Warm and Wonderful knitwear, which was established in 1979.

A few weeks after the polo match, the designers received a letter from Buckingham Palace explaining that Diana has damaged her sheep sweater and requested either a repair or replacement. A new identical sweater was knitted entirely, which the Princess of Wales wore to another polo match in 1983, styling it with white jeans, a large white collar, and a black ribbon tie.

<p><a href="" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1"></a>Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty Images</p>

Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty Images

The designers assumed the original sweater had been repaired and sent to another customer, until March 2023. According to Sotheby's, Osborne was in the attic looking for an old pattern and came across a small box. Inside, she found an old cotton bedspread and a red sweater with a sheep pattern. The damaged cuff, the shape, and small variations in the sheep’s eyes (which were individually sewn on) confirmed that it was Princess Diana's original lost sweater.

The designers brought the sweater to Sotheby's, where it recently went up for auction. The lot included the sweater as well as two official letters, written in 1981, from Buckingham Palace to Warm and Wonderful. The auction house anticipated the sweater would go for upwards of $80,000, but it ultimately sold for $1.14 million on September 14.

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