The saucy see-through dress which made Prince William fall for Kate Middleton has been languishing in the back of a wardrobe for YEARS – but could now be worth £100,000, it emerged today.
Red-blooded Wills first clapped eyes on his future bride in ‘That Dress’ as she sauntered down the catwalk in a charity fashion show at St Andrews University.
It was love – or lust – at first sight as stunning Kate showed off her curves in the silk outfit, designed by fashion student Charlotte Todd.
Wills was photographed looking mesmerised at the stunning brunette, whose lacy underwear was clearly visible under the slinky garment.
After the show the dress was returned to Charlotte, who packed it away in her mum’s wardrobe, where it has remained ever since.
The graduate, who has not pursued a career in fashion design and now works in an aquarium, yesterday spoke of her pride in playing such a key role in Royal history.
She has already turned down an offer of £1,000 for the dress and has vowed never to sell it – but experts estimate it could fetch a staggering £100,000 in the future.
Charlotte, now 31, hopes the dress will one day end up in a museum like many of Princess Diana’s iconic outfits.
She said: ”I couldn’t believe it when I heard William and Kate were getting married – I was so happy for them both.
”Then when I realised she would become Queen I started to appreciate the significance of it all.
”The dress is a part of fashion history – the moment William could first have fallen in love with Kate – and that makes me really proud.
”I only made it as a skirt, but they pulled it up on Kate and she wore it as a dress. Maybe if it hadn’t have been see-through, William might not have noticed her.
”I definitely think it has a played a part in the Royal love story.”
The rookie designer, from Bedminster, Bristol, revealed the dress cost just £30 to put together back in 2000.
She spent a week knitting the silk fabrics together before adding a ribbon trim to finish off the eye-catching black and gold piece.
The elegant slip dress – based on a brief called the ”art of seduction” – was then added to the collection for her fashion and textiles degree at the University of the West of England.
It was not until 2002 that Charlotte was contacted out of the blue by St Andrews University, to use her item in its annual charity fashion show.
The exclusive ticket-only event saw a host of sexy models take to the catwalk to strut their stuff wearing some of the biggest labels in fashion, including Giorgio Armani and Prada.
But Charlotte’s striking outfit caught the eye of the organisers, who cherry-pick clothes from the most talented up-and-coming student designers.
Smitten Wills reportedly paid £200 for a VIP front row seat and was captivated when Kate hit the catwalk wearing just a bra and knickers under the see-through dress.
The suited Prince was snapped craning his neck towards the leggy brunette, while guzzling wine with fellow guests on his table.
The resulting photographs of Kate and William at the fashion show were splashed across the world.
Auctioneers last night claimed the item’s price could rocket up to a six-figure sum, but added fanatical Royal collectors could make its true value LIMITLESS.
They said Kate Middleton’s dresses would take their place alongside her late mother-in-law Princess Diana’s outfits as some of the most desired clothes in the world.
Christine Satchett, from South London auctioneer’s Greasbys, said: ”With important Royal items like this, if someone has got the money they will just keep on bidding.
”I imagine she could get someone to pay £10,000 for it now. But in years to come if Kate was on the throne it could reach up to £100,000.
”The price could just go up ten-fold – it was the same with Princess Diana’s clothes.”
Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement last week and plan to marry on April 29 next year at Westminster Abbey.