By Emma Dooney
A Princess Diana handwritten card is set to go on sale, alongside the late royal's childhood bicycle.
- A Princess Diana handwritten note is about to go on sale, alongside the late royal's beloved childhood bicycle.
- The possessions offer royal fans a rare insight into Princess Diana's early years at Althorp House.
- In other royal news, here's why baby Lilibet's christening will be a key indicator amidst royal 'rift'.
Royal memorabilia collectors take note—another batch of Princess Diana's personal possessions is about to hit the market.
The late royal's childhood bicycle will be sold by East Bristol Auctions on 24 July, alongside a handwritten note from the icon herself.
With both a vintage treasure and an authentic card up for grabs, bidders can expect tough competition to win this particular artifact. The red 'Chopper' style bike was adored by Diana as a child in the 1970s, while the handwritten note provides an insight into her inner circle growing up at Althorp House.
The Christmas card, which is dated 1994, was addressed to the Spencer family's housekeeper, Maudie Pendrey. The Norfolk woman, who passed away in 2006, was one of the privileged few to know Diana before she became an international superstar. She worked at Althorp for almost 30 years, keeping the property running smoothly alongside her butler husband. It was during this time that the couple developed a close bond with the young Diana, who they recall as being "always shy" but "very lovely."
"After her father [Earl John Spencer] remarried, she used to come and talk to us quite a lot," Maudie said. "She sometimes used to come and have lunch with us. She never had airs and graces. Diana was just an ordinary lovely girl. She was very sweet and all the staff loved her."
Diana left Althorp in her late teens to move into a London flat with friends but continued to keep Maudie in her thoughts. The sweet card, which is signed by the Princess of Wales herself, features a printed Happy Christmas message and an adorable photograph of Lady Di with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Despite being nearly three decades old, it has been well-preserved by the Pendrey family.
The red Tracker bicycle is also in good nick, boasting a fully-functioning vinyl saddle, chrome mudguard, central gear level, sprung rear suspension, and y-frame handlebars with brakes.
“Diana was the ‘people’s Princess,’ and this is a chance to own a personal piece of her history. This is far from just a run-of-the-mill child’s bicycle! One can almost imagine the young Diana riding around her childhood country estate on this," Toy specialist Lucy McCourt told Bristol Live.
The auction comes just three months after the sale of Princess Diana's shame bike, the Raleigh two-wheeler she was forced to give up before marrying into the Royal Family. The bicycle sold for a whopping £44k ($61k), greatly exceeding the auctioneers' predicted estimate of £20k. Not all royal memorabilia has fetched such hefty prices though.
Just last week, a Prince Charles and Diana wedding relic sold for a mere $20. The expired bun, which had survived from celebrations of the 1981 occasion, might just take the cake for being one of the quirkiest Diana pieces snapped up by the public. And for the price of a few takeaway coffees, we think it may well have been worth it.
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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