Why is the Princess Diana beanie baby selling for over £20k?

The commemorative Princess Diana beanie baby that debuted in 1997 can cost upwards of £20k - but why is the teddy bear so pricey?

Bixie haircut on Princess Diana
(Image credit: Getty)

The commemorative Princess Diana beanie baby that was released in 1997 is now worth thousands - here is why...

In December 1997, just a few months after Princess Diana's passing, a soft purple teddy bear with a white rose embroidered onto its chest was sold as a commemorative beanie baby. The purple hue was reportedly selected to evoke a feeling of royalty, and the white rose was to symbolize Diana's fan-given title as England's rose. The bear cost around £5 (about $7) and proceeds went to benefit the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

The beanie babies were immediately recognized as collector's items and there were limited numbers of the beanie babies that were made available. However, following consumer interest and high demand for the product, the TY factory increased the production levels and many more shipments of the teddy bears were released. It is now suggested that there are possibly millions of these beanie babies floating around. But why are some so expensive?

Princess Diana beanie baby

(Image credit: Alamy )

Why are the Princess Diana beanie babies so expensive?

In an interview with People, Lori Verderame, an experienced antique appraiser who has come across many beanie babies in her time, explained the significance of these bears.

"They're all different," said the expert as she explained that there are different generations of bears with different stuffings, and materials. "Every single one of them has a nuance that would make them different."

The expert then explained that some of them could be worth five figures. "Some could be worth into the thousands," said Lori. "I've seen many of them that are more than thousands of dollars. Five figures, easily." She even added that the fakes are valuable too, "A lot of the fakes are good…You can search for them and find very valuable ones."

The expert then explained why some of the bears could be worth so much - demand. When there is interest about Princess Diana, demand for the beanie babies increases and the demand is tied completely to the value. Lori said that there was a surge in August 2022 which was perhaps tied to the 25th anniversary of Diana's death.

"It's particularly interesting, not only because of the anniversary of Diana's death, [but because they were] beloved collectible toys of folks who are coming of age: late 20s to early 40s," said Lori. This means those who are profiting are the millennials who were fans of these toys back in the 1990s.

How to buy a Princess Diana beanie baby

The best site to find a commemorative Princess Diana beanie baby is possibly eBay or Etsy. But, there really is no guarantee if you are buying a fake or an item that is valuable. The best course would be to buy one at auction or to find a teddy that is sold with a certificate of authentication from an antique collector or appraiser.

Another option is to get ahead of a trend. In a UK Exclusive, TY is selling a commemorative bear in memory of Queen Elizabeth II who died earlier in the year.

TY Queen Elizabeth II Beanie Bear, £7.00 | Hamleys

TY Queen Elizabeth II Beanie Bear, £7.00 | Hamleys

This commemorative bear comes in Her Majesty’s favourite colour, blue, with a delicate embroidered crown displaying the years of her life. She also wears a platinum ribbon to acknowledge her 70 years of service. In honour of Queen Elizabeth II TY has made a £100,000 donation to: Cruse Bereavement Support. A charity supported by by Queen Elizabeth II for 38 years.

While there is no guarantee this bear will hold value in a few decades, if it follows the same value trajectory of Princess Diana's commemorative beanie baby, this teddy bear could be worth thousands in a few decades once the bear is no longer produced by the manufacturers. 

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.