A diamond and onyx bracelet, owned by Wallis Simpson, the American socialite for whom King Edward VIII gave up the thrown of England, has been auctioned for a record-breaking $7 million and rumours is that the secret buyer is none other than 'Queen of Pop' Madonna.
Twenty intimate gifts including jewellery which charted the love affair between Simpson and the Duke of Windsor, sold for a whopping $12.5 million.
The star attraction was the panther bracelet, which went for an astonishing $7 million after a nail-biting battle between two telephone bidders, making it the most expensive bracelet ever sold, reported Daily Mail online.
The total smashed the auctioneer's estimate of $5 million and also made Simpson's jewels the most expensive single-owner collection ever auctioned.
Two years after Edward's accession as King, Simpson had divorced her second husband and married him. The King's desire to marry a woman with two living ex-husbands caused a constitutional crisis in the UK, which ultimately led to the King's abdication in December 1936 to marry "the woman I love."
Up for grabs were intimate gifts, all made by Cartier, marking the couple's romance from its earliest days to their 20th wedding anniversary.
Many pieces were inscribed with dedications of their love. The collection was sold on behalf of millionaire Wafiq Said, who snapped it up in 1987, when 300 pieces were auctioned a year after Simpson's death. Edward gave Wallis the panther bracelet in 1952 when they were living in exile in Paris as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Madonna, who is making a film about the duchess, was said to be among its admirers in the run-up to the sale. Last night Sotheby's, which held the sale in London, would not say whether she was the new owner.