A collection of Princess Diana's private letters heads to auction

Lay's Auctioneers in Penzance, Cornwall have come up trumps with an amazing collection of 32 highly personal letters written by Diana, The Princess of Wales.

The 'Private Correspondence of a Princess' features in Lay's 16th February Antiques and Interiors Auction with total estimates for the letters at £90,000.

Princess Diana letters for sale at David Lay auctions
Image: David Lay Auctions


The letters have been written to two of Diana's friends, Susie and Tarek Kassem.

Diana had originally befriended Susie Kassem in August 1995 at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.

Susie and her husband Tarek clearly became close confidents of Diana's; as in one letter she writes;

"You have no idea the joy and trust you and Tarek have introduced into my life..."

The 32 letters have auction estimates from just £250 per letter with Lots 146 and 148 clearly containing more juicy content as they carry estimates of £5,000 - £10,000 each.

Lot 146 is dated 23rd April 1996, and is handwritten by Diana on Kensington Palace notepaper.

In the letter Diana discusses her impending divorce from Prince Charles:

"I am having a very difficult time and the pressure is serious and coming from all sides'

"It's too difficult sometimes to keep ones head up and today I'm on my knees and just longing for this divorce to go through as the possible cost is tremendous'

Lot 418 is dated 20th May 1996, and is again handwritten on Kensington Palace paper, with Diana expressing concern that her Kensington Palace phone has been bugged, and her regrets at how ugly the divorce proceedings have become:

"As my lines here are constantly recorded & passed on."

"If I had known a year ago what I'd experience going through this divorce, I'd never have consented, it's desperate and ugly.'

Lay's have a decent history with Princess Diana memorabilia having previously sold a 40 strong letter collection of her letters for £67,900 in March 2021.

Those letters, dated between 1990 and 1997 had been sent to her friend Roger Bramble, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, whom she descibed in the letters as 'a welcome distraction.'

Bramble's family donated the proceeds of the sale to the English National Ballet, Opera Rara, Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and the Benesh International Endowment Fund.

The Kassem's have also stated that they will donate part of their auction sale proceeds to Diana's favourite charities.

You can follow the auction at David Lay Auctions

 About your Author:

Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.

Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.

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