The lingerie-style dress that caught Prince William's eye sells for a bundle at auction
Credit: WENN

The see-through dress that is said to have sparked the royal romance of the century has gone under the hammer.

The sheer number that Kate Middleton wore in a 2002 St. Andrews University fashion show sold at auction in London Thursday for a staggering 78,000 (or $125,884).

At the Kerry Taylor Auctions Passion for Fashion sale, the lingerie-style dress – which cost less than $50 to make and was originally intended as a skirt – was displayed among haute couture dresses worn by Princess Diana and lingerie from the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson’s closet. But thanks to its wearer, the skimpy little black dress was the talk of the auction.

Designer Charlotte Todd, 31, who made the piece as part of her university coursework, tells PEOPLE that her assignment “was called ‘The Art of Seduction,’ which is quite apt, really. I didn’t know who Kate Middleton was and I didn’t put her in it. It was just pure chance!”

Todd says she’s never met the princess-to-be, but is overjoyed to have played even a small part in Kate’s eventual engagement to Prince William.

“I’m thrilled,” says Todd. “Everyone says that the fashion show was when the romance started and when she bagged her prince, so a small part of me will always be part of royal history. It’s madness!”