Lot 23 : Two Shirley Davis costumes worn by the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson for 'It's a Royal Knockout', 1987.
Two Shirley Davis costumes worn by the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson for 'It's a Royal Knockout', 1987. the first comprising blue velvet cloak, skull cap, blouse, full-length skirt and petticoat; the second, a medieval-style gown overlaid with brocaded chiffon, underskirt and skull cap; each cap bearing handwritten 'Duchess of York' sticker, labelled, busts 92cm, 36in (8) Provenance: these costumes were given to the vendor's husband, Harry Arnold, who was Chief Reporter for The Daily Mirror at the time, and had previously been the Royal Correspondent for The Sun. Broadcast on the 19th June 1989, 'The Grand Knockout Tournament' (known as 'It's a Royal Knockout') was a one-off charity event which took place on 15th June 1987, and has been widely described as one of the most embarrassing events in television history. The brain child of the then 25-year-old Prince Edward (who was keen to develop a career in television), the concept was frowned upon by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and he was strongly advised against the idea by royal officials, who feared it would make a mockery of the royal family. Featuring four competing teams, each captained by a young royal, the games saw them dress up in medieval-style costumes and compete in absurd tasks, such as chasing celebrities dressed as large vegetables across a field. The teams were led by an enthusiastic and gung-ho Fergie (blue), her husband Prince Andrew (green), Prince Edward (yellow), and a highly reluctant and stoic Princess Anne (red). The teammates were an impressive who's who of celebrities of the day, including: John Travolta, Meatloaf, Tom Jones, Cliff Richard, Christopher Reeve, Gary Lineker, Toyah Willcox and Jenny Agutter. The games were overseen by Rowan Atkinson and Barbara Windsor. The first costume was worn by Fergie throughout the entirety of the broadcast and can be seen in press photographs of the day. Fergie wore the second costume at the evening event, from which the media had been excluded by Prince Edward, after their less than enthusiastic response on the day. The event raised over £1 million pounds for charity, with Princess Anne's team winning in aid of Save the Children. Fergie's team, representing International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, came last..
Estimate:£200 - £300
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