Notorious Royal history going once ...
All eyes at the March 17 Kerry Taylor Auctions sale, naturally, will be on the sheer dress that Kate Middleton modelled in 2002 (right), but that could set you back $40,000-$50,000, which is a tad steep for dress that's mostly not there.
However, the auction also features items from Wallis Simpson, the American socialite who effectively cause the abdication of King Edward VIII. If you've seen The King's Speech then you know the basic story.
Simpson met Edward in the early 1930s, while she was still married to businessman Ernest Simpson, her second husband. The two began an affair, which continued into 1936, when Edward became King after the death of his father, George V.
Edward was determined to marry the now twice-divorced Simpson, something that was not permitted by the Church of England. This was an awkward spot for a King who was also the head of the Church.
Edward chose Simpson over the throne and became the only British monarch ever to volunarily abdicate, which he did in December 1936. (The Britsh Monarchy website has his abdication speech here.)
Simpson died in France in 1986, 14 years after the death of Edward. (If you need to brush up on your Royals history, have a look at our Royal Family Tree since Victoria.)
The March 17 sale features a number of items the auctioneer says belonged to Simpson (they are listed as lots 85 to 119), including a chiffon nightdress, a Louis Vuitton vanity case, photo frames and some jewellery.
Here's what the auctioneer says.
Lots 85 to 119 all come directly from the estate of the late Duchess of Windsor, the majority of which have never been offered for sale before and have remained in the Windsors' home in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris since her death. The proceeds of the sale of this collection will benefit the Dodi International Charitable Foundation The Foundation benefits children in need of medical care, helps with their psychological and learning difficulties and gives material support for those without families to assist them.