Before she's even married William, collectors spot Kate's $158,000 dress

Their eyes met over a fashion catwalk... It was at a St Andrews University fashion show that Prince William first spotted his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton, back in 2002.

According to tabloid reports, William "paid £200 for a VIP front row seat and was photographed craning his neck towards leggy Kate" as she modelled a dress designed by her friend.

His fascination with Kate was soon picked up by newspapers, and photographs of Middleton at the fashion event were soon published all over the world.

Fast-forward eight years, and Kate Middleton is now set to become Queen Catherine - and the inevitable comparisons between herself and Princess Diana are already cropping up in the press.

Earlier this month, we speculated on the potential future value of Kate Middleton's memorabilia. Now it appears a £100,000 ($157,937) price tag has already been attached to one of Kate's dresses, before she and William have even tied the knot.

When William first set eyes on Kate at the fashion show all those years ago, she was modelling a see-though dress worn made by her friend Charlotte Todd.

After the show, the dress - which cost just £30 to put together - was consigned to Todd's mother's wardrobe, where it's been ever since.

Lady Diana, in the dress that helped make her a star (sold for £192,000)

According to reports, Charlotte - who's since turned her back on fashion design and works in an aquarium in Bristol - has been offered £1,000 to sell the fateful frock. Meanwhile, other experts feel sure that the dress could bring up to a hundred-times that amount in the future.

This is less surprising when it's considered that a plunge-necked dress worn by Princess Diana sold for £192,000, earlier this year. What's more, as with Kate's garment, it was the dress in which Diana made her big debut before the world's press; 'the dress which made her famous.'

Meanwhile, the global markets for Royal memorabilia are on the rise. Recently the BBC ran a news report highlighting the interest in the Royal family from the so called BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China. These are the world's fastest growing economies and the BBC says they have a fascination in British history and the Royal family.

So far, Todd has refused all financial offers for the dress and claimed that she will gift it to Kate and William in exchange for an invite to their wedding.

Todd's refusal to cash in on her friend's romance is admirable. Yet the collectors markets are unpredictable, and who knows if this dress will one day crop up at auction somewhere with a £100,000 price tag...


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