Princess Diana smiles as she arrives at the Tate Gallery in London. Picture: AP Photo/Jacqueline Arzt, file
Princess Diana smiles as she arrives at the Tate Gallery in London. Picture: AP Photo/Jacqueline Arzt, file

Princess Diana's Ford Escort bought by South American museum for R1m

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Jun 30, 2021

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Princess Diana's Ford Escort - an engagement gift from the Princes of Wales - has been sold for over R1 million.

The vehicle was once owned by the late princess - who died in 1997 - after she was gifted it by the Prince of Wales as an engagement present in May 1981, two months before their wedding.

The silver 1.6 Ghia saloon has been bought by a museum in South America after it was put up for sale in an online auction by Reeman Dansie Auctions.

The telephone bidder offered £52 640 (R1 040 720) for the car - including VAT and the buyer's premium - while the hammer price was £47 000 (R929 214).

Lewis Rabett - from Reeman Dansie Auctions - said: "The interest has been considerable pre-auction.

"Ending up in South America is testament to the level of interest globally that there's been in the car.

"It's also testament to Diana and her enduring legacy."

The car - which featured a silver frog on the bonnet - still has its original registration, WEV 297W, and original paint and upholstery.

The princess was known to drive it to watch Prince Charles play polo, and she stopped using the car after giving birth to Prince William in 1982.

It was later bought by an antiques dealer for £6 000 (R118 623), and belonged to a royal fan - who only drove it sparingly - for around two decades.

It has 83 000 miles on the clock.

Meanwhile, this week it was revealed the princess was apparently named after Paul Anka's 1957 hit “Diana”.

The singer said: "A very dear friend of the princess was Diana Dare, wife of the photographer Terence Donovan.

“It was she who told my wife that Diana’s mother liked the song, and so she was named after it."

Paul was just 15 when he wrote the tune about an older babysitter, and the song hit the top spot in the UK singles chart a week after its release.

He noted that many women wrote fan letters revealing they had also named their daughter after the song, and so he isn't surprised that Frances did the same.

He said: "Setting aside the royalty angle, it’s just another set of human beings who embrace something culturally.

“The mother [Frances] was a human being, the mother liked the song, she was just like many people who did that. I’m honoured.”

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