herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Diana's private letters pulled from sale

Two handwritten letters written by Princess Diana to her stepmother will no longer go under the hammer.

The letters, written in December 1980 and January 1981, were due to be sold as part of a sale in Northamptonshire -- where the Spencer family's Althorp Estate is.

One of them revealed Diana's joy at "slipping" in and out of Sandringham the Christmas before she married Prince Charles.

It also referred to how much she was looking forward to a trip to Australia, which she went on in February 1981, as well as a mention of a woman she refers only to as "she".

But the missives, which were being sold by a private vendor who used to work for the Spencer family, have now been withdrawn from the sale after Countess Spencer contacted auctioneers JP Humberts.

One of the letters, written on January 18, 1981, refers to a Christmas spent at Sandringham before Charles and Diana were married in July 1981.

"Dearest Raine, what a touching letter you wrote to me," it said. "It contained far too much praise which I'm sure I'm not due for.

"As you saw, I went to Sandringham and I arrived and left without being seen. I can't help but be pleased.

"Raine, you have been extremely kind and patient with all this and consequently I just wanted you to know how grateful I am.

"Thinking back to 'she'(!) of our conversations I think it's so right for me to go to Australia and not long, 2 1/2 weeks will do both of us good.

"Anyway, a million thanks for all your support and advice. I only hope that in the end we will all be able to smile."

Another letter, written on headed notepaper on December 28, 1980, thanked Raine for her gifts to Diana.

hnews@herald.ie

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