Margaret Thatcher's wedding dress sells for £25,000

Margaret Thatcher's wedding dress.
Margaret Thatcher's wedding dress.
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Margaret Thatcher's wedding dress has sold for £25,000 as the auction of the late prime minister's personal belongings kicks off.

The dispatch box of the former Prime Minister, who is seen as destroying mining communities in our region, and an array of power suits are also to be sold at today's auction, which organisers hailed as "historic".

The sale comes after the V&A reportedly turned down the chance to exhibit the collection - a claim denied by the museum.

Baroness Thatcher wore the midnight blue velvet dress and matching muff at her wedding to Dennis Thatcher on December 13 1951 at Wesley's Chapel in London.

The dress sold just days after what would have been their 64th wedding anniversary.

Some 150 items are going under the hammer at the sale at Christie's auction house in Piccadilly, central London.

While another 200 lots are being sold online in a sale that closes tomorrow.

The sale takes place 25 years after Baroness Thatcher left office and in the year when she would have celebrated her 90th birthday.

The auction house said it expects a lot of interest, and bids were placed from all over the world - including Australia, South Korea and America.

Kicking off the sale, Jussi Pylkkanen, the auctioneer and Global President of Christie's International, told the auction house that he expects "a lot of bidding today, a lot of competition both online and here live in the room".

Baroness Thatcher's collection of writings from Winston Churchill proved a hit with bidders, smashing their estimates.

Her collected works of Churchill sold for £32,500 - 10 times its estimate of £3,000 - while her editions of Churchill's biography of Marlborough sold for £18,750.

A signed typescript of Mrs Thatcher's famous speech, in which she quotes the words "Where there is Discord may we bring Harmony", has sold for £37,500.

She delivered the stirring words on 4 May 1979, having become Britain's first ever female prime minister.

Her iconic red prime ministerial dispatch box sparked a bidding war, eventually selling for £242,500.

It smashed its estimate of £3,000 to £5,000, attracting a round of applause in the room when it finally sold.

The dispatch box attracted bidders from South Korea, Malta and those at the auction in London.