Letters penned by Princess Diana to family friend from 1990 to 1997 are sold at auction today


A collection of handwritten letters from Princess Diana to a family friend who she wrote to for seven years until her death will be sold at auction today. 

The 39 messages date back to 1990 and run until just a few months before the Princess of Wales’ tragic death in 1997, and are estimated to be worth between £20,000 and £30,000.

Writing to family friend Roger Bramble, the mother-of-two shared with him the ‘ghastly week’ she endured following the publication of Andrew Morton’s 1992 biography Diana: Her True Story, which revealed she had attempted suicide.

Among the items, which are being sold this afternoon by David Lay auctioneers in Penzance, Cornwall, there is also a note discussing a future trip to the opera and whether Mr Bramble ‘in your expert opinion [thinks] William would enjoy an opera?’.

A collection of handwritten letters and cards (pictured) from Princess Diana to a family friend who she wrote to for seven years until her death will be sold at auction today

Writing to family friend Roger Bramble (above), the mother-of-two shared with him the 'ghastly week' she endured following the publication of Andrew Morton's 1992 biography Diana: Her True Story, which revealed she had attempted suicide

Writing to family friend Roger Bramble (above), the mother-of-two shared with him the ‘ghastly week’ she endured following the publication of Andrew Morton’s 1992 biography Diana: Her True Story, which revealed she had attempted suicide

The late Princess Of Wales is escorted into the London festival ballet charity event by Councillor Roger Bramble, representing the Lord Mayor Of Westminster

The late Princess Of Wales is escorted into the London festival ballet charity event by Councillor Roger Bramble, representing the Lord Mayor Of Westminster

Dated June 12 1992, and handwritten in ink on both sides of her personal cream and burgundy Kensington Palace card, Princess Diana wrote ‘ghastly week’ on one of the letters, set to go for between £500-£800.

During this time, the royal had been at the centre of a media frenzy, as the Sunday Times started serialising Andrew Morton’s highly revealing biography Diana: Her True Story. 

In another of her letters, Princess Diana talked about her close friend Adrian Ward Jackson, who was a former member of the board of directors of the Royal Ballet and died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 41.

The message, also written on the royal’s personal paper, reads: ‘Adrian had a very kind heart and was a valuable friend to me, but to see him reach the psychological and spiritual destination of acceptance before he died will be a memory I will treasure, as few manage to make that plateau.

The 39 messages (above) date back to 1990 and run until just a few months before the Princess of Wales' tragic death in 1997, and are estimated to be worth between £20,000 and £30,000

The 39 messages (above) date back to 1990 and run until just a few months before the Princess of Wales’ tragic death in 1997, and are estimated to be worth between £20,000 and £30,000

Among the items (above), which are being sold this afternoon by David Lay auctioneers in Penzance, Cornwall, there is also a note discussing a future trip to the opera and whether Mr Bramble 'in your expert opinion [thinks] William would enjoy an opera?'

Among the items (above), which are being sold this afternoon by David Lay auctioneers in Penzance, Cornwall, there is also a note discussing a future trip to the opera and whether Mr Bramble ‘in your expert opinion [thinks] William would enjoy an opera?’

In another of her letters (pictured), Princess Diana talked about her close friend Adrian Ward Jackson, who was a former member of the board of directors of the Royal Ballet and died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 41

In another of her letters (pictured), Princess Diana talked about her close friend Adrian Ward Jackson, who was a former member of the board of directors of the Royal Ballet and died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 41

‘I learnt more about inner-strength than anything moral during his last few days and as we know bereavement is an experience of change and adjustment so life must go on.’

The letter, estimated to sell for £800 to £1,200, also goes on to discuss a future trip to the opera and whether ‘you, in your expert opinion think William would enjoy an opera?’ 

Another of the lots, a Christmas card signed by the princess in 1995, is inscribed ‘Roger, Lots of love from Diana’, and is thought to be worth between £300 to £500.  

One of the earliest letters in the collection, penned on August 8, 1990, by Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd, amusingly revealed how Diana’s effect on men was not just confined to the British Isles.

Another of the lots, a Christmas card (above) signed by the princess in 1995, is inscribed 'Roger, Lots of love from Diana', and is thought to be worth between £300 to £500

Another of the lots, a Christmas card (above) signed by the princess in 1995, is inscribed ‘Roger, Lots of love from Diana’, and is thought to be worth between £300 to £500

A description of the lot says how the letters (pictured) 'reveal a witty and intelligent hand with a great generosity of spirit'

A description of the lot says how the letters (pictured) ‘reveal a witty and intelligent hand with a great generosity of spirit’

Mimi Lay, David's wife, said they expect a flurry of bidders from around the world, explaining: 'This is one of the most extraordinary sales we have ever done' Pictured, one of Diana's letters

Mimi Lay, David’s wife, said they expect a flurry of bidders from around the world, explaining: ‘This is one of the most extraordinary sales we have ever done’ Pictured, one of Diana’s letters

She recounted her and Diana’s unofficial three day visit to Verona and Venice during which there were ‘endless gorgeous moments’, including Diana dancing barefoot in St Mark’s Square.

She wrote: ‘There were endless gorgeous moments weren’t there – I think I’ll ever remember St Mark’s Square with D barefoot plus that orange jacket and the Italian Special Branch gang unable to do anything but feast on her legs and lust generally!’

A description of the lot says how the letters ‘reveal a witty and intelligent hand with a great generosity of spirit’.

Mimi Lay, David’s wife, said they expect a flurry of bidders from around the world, explaining: ‘This is one of the most extraordinary sales we have ever done.

‘No-one in the world has handled a collection of letters from Diana quite like this. These letters are beautifully written and show Diana’s real character as witty, warm and generous.’

The auctioneers said that for over 23 years the letters (pictured), written between August 7 1990 and May 16 1997, laid in a cupboard in a country farmhouse

The auctioneers said that for over 23 years the letters (pictured), written between August 7 1990 and May 16 1997, laid in a cupboard in a country farmhouse

A spokesperson said: 'The letters (above) reveal a witty and intelligent hand with a great generosity of spirit'

A spokesperson said: ‘The letters (above) reveal a witty and intelligent hand with a great generosity of spirit’ 

The seller himself added: 'I certainly cannot bring myself to destroy or even archive and forget such a valuable treasure trove (pictured) from the hand of such an influential person'

The seller himself added: ‘I certainly cannot bring myself to destroy or even archive and forget such a valuable treasure trove (pictured) from the hand of such an influential person’

Roger Bramble was a good friend of Diana's family and he took her to the ballet and the opera and for lunches. Pictured, A Christmas card sent to Roger from Diana

Roger Bramble was a good friend of Diana’s family and he took her to the ballet and the opera and for lunches. Pictured, A Christmas card sent to Roger from Diana 

The auctioneers said that for over 23 years the letters, written between August 7 1990 and May 16 1997, laid in a cupboard in a country farmhouse.

A spokesperson said: ‘The letters reveal a witty and intelligent hand with a great generosity of spirit. The recipient believes his place in her story was only as a constant, always independent of what else might have been happening at the same time.

‘He had known the Princess since childhood and has now given the letters to a younger relation to handle as he sees fit. We are fortunate that this person has now decided to share these letters with the wider public.’

The seller himself added: ‘I certainly cannot bring myself to destroy or even archive and forget such a valuable treasure trove from the hand of such an influential person.

‘We have our memories and I very much hope these original and delightful letters will give the new owners the same enjoyment and, before the sale, help the public to learn more about the Princess as a real person rather than relying solely on contemporary portrayals of her life.’



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