The QUEEN ELIZABETH I costume Whoopi Goldberg wore during her hosting stint at the 1999 Academy Awards helped to raise over $440,000 (GBP244,400) for Aids research at a Christie's auction in New York last night (22NOV05).

The comedy gown fetched $22,800 (GBP12,670) at the event, held to raise funds for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

All 150 items up for grabs were created by celebrated Hollywood stylist BOB MACKIE and worn by the likes of Sharon Stone, Diana Ross, Cher and ELTON JOHN himself on stage and screen.

Other big-selling items were a gown Elton wore on tour, which fetched $13,200 (GBP7,330) and an embroidered dress modelled by Stone in 1995 film Casino, which also went under the hammer for $13,200 (GBP7,330).