Princess Diana's 'shame bike' goes up for auction this month

Princess Diana was forced to give up her 'shame bike' after she married into the Royal Family

Lady Diana Spencer outside her flat in Coleherne Court, London, before her engagement to the Prince of Wales, December 1980. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Diana's iconic 'shame bike' will be sold at auction later this month, with bidding expected to start at £20,000. 

Princess Diana's beloved 'shame bike' will soon have a new owner. 

The Ladies Raleigh Traveller bicycle was cherished by the late Princess of Wales, who used it to zip around London before she married Prince Charles. She was frequently snapped by paparazzi riding the 1970s model on route to Young England Kindergarten, the Pimlico nursery where she worked after leaving school. 

Despite its minimal worth at the time, Diana was fiercely protective of her three-gear two-wheeler. She once revealed the front tyre of it was stolen after she left it tied to her Knightsbridge flat's gates overnight, an incident she described as 'very irritating.' 

Unfortunately, thieves weren't the only people getting in the way of Diana's cycling. The princess's beloved vehicle was dubbed the 'shame bike' by the tabloids after royal officials allegedly advised her to stop using it. Diana was reportedly told the bicycle was not suitable for a lady in the British monarchy and instructed to use alternative forms of transportation. 

With no say in the matter, Diana discreetly sold the bike to a friend of her father's, who kept it stashed in his garage until 2008. Unsurprisingly, the memorabilia is worth a huge amount today. It last sold at an auction in 2018 for a whopping £9,200 and is expected to sell at more than double that when it goes under the hammer again at the end of the month. 

The successful bidder will receive not just any old bicycle, but a physical reminder of the late princess's oppression. According to auctioneers Burstow and Hewett, the bike represents 'something she loved being taken away; and control over her public appearance for the reputation of what is deemed acceptable for a lady of the British Royal Family.'

The auction will be live-streamed on April 28 at 10 am by Burstow and Hewett Auctioneers. 


Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.