Princess Diana’s sheep sweater sells for record-breaking $1.1M at auction

This sheep doesn’t come cheap.

Princess Diana’s famous black sheep sweater stunned fashion fans Thursday when it sold at auction for an astounding $1.1 million, breaking the record for the highest price ever paid for an item worn by the late royal.

The red Warm & Wonderful piece — which features a flock of white critters surrounded by one black sheep — is one of the most iconic pieces ever worn by Princess Diana, with the patterned sweater surpassing Sotheby’s auction estimate of $50,000-$80,000 by leaps and bounds.

While the lucky winner is currently unknown, the auction house noted in a press release that a 15-minute bidding war ensued, resulting in the price skyrocketing from $190,000 to its selling price of $1,143,000 in rapid speed.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana’s iconic black sheep sweater has sold for more than $1 million in a Sotheby’s auction Thursday.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Princess Diana
Diana wore her sweater during a 1983 polo outing with Sarah, the Duchess of York.
Getty Images

Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne
Warm & Wonderful designers Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne pose with their iconic sweater at Sotheby’s.
Getty Images

The legendary sweater was offered up to Sotheby’s after designers Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne found it in a box while “rummaging through the attic.”

”Inside, tucked away beside a cotton bedspread was Diana’s original red sheep sweater from 1981,” the designers said in a June press release.

Princess Diana first sported the red sweater in 1981, and its inclusion of a black sheep was widely considered a subtle message of the princess feeling like she didn’t belong in the royal family — or perhaps how she wanted to stand out from the rest of the flock as well.

Princess Diana
The princess was known for her love of playful knitwear.
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Princess Diana sheep sweater
The sweater went on display at Sotheby’s in NYC before it sold for more than a million dollars this week.
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Princess Diana, Sarah Ferguson
Her sheep sweater was instantly copied by women around the world.
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She wore the knitwear so often that it ended up torn, with Sotheby’s sharing on Instagram in June that “after damaging her much-loved sweater, Diana sent it back to the label alongside a request for repair.”

The auctioned-off sweater found in a box was the original, damaged version, as Muir and Osborne made a new sweater for the princess instead of returning hers.

The sheep sweater’s impressive sale follows a range of other auctions featuring items worn by the late Princess of Wales, with a purple velvet evening gown that brought in a whopping $604,800 in January holding the previous record.

Princess Diana letters
The letters regarding Diana’s damaged sweater were put on display at Sotheby’s in London this summer.
Getty Images for Sotheby’s

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One piece was even purchased by none other than Kim Kardashian, with the reality star nabbing Diana’s amethyst cross necklace for a comparative bargain price of $197,453 earlier this year.

If you haven’t got a royal-sized budget, you can always grab your very own sheep sweater ($248) from Warm & Wonderful, which relaunched the legendary design in 2020.

As for Diana’s second sweater, perhaps that will eventually hit the auction block, too.

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