These relics racked up quite the royal sum! A collection of Princess Diana‘s letters written during the time of her divorce from King Charles III have officially sold for six figures.
Penned by the late Princess of Wales to friends Susie and Tarek Kassem between the years of 1994 to 1997, the U.K. auction house Lay’s Auctioneers revealed on Thursday, February 16, that the collection, titled “Diana, The Private Correspondence of a Princess,” sold for $169,663.
“Susie and Tarek Kassem, as very close friends of Diana, Princess of Wales, have treasured these letters for over 25 years,” reads a statement shared on Lay’s website. “They reflect the special and loving relationship they had with the most unique women that they had ever known.”
The statement continues: “Now, in 2023, the ownership of these poignant documents is a responsibility that the Kassems do not wish to pass on to their children or grandchildren. They have decided to sell the letters and use proceeds of the sale to support some of the charities that were close to Susie and Diana’s hearts.”
The statement also notes that the Kassems chose to keep “more personal and confidential letters,” but decided to auction off the rest to give “other people the opportunity of acquiring ‘a momento’ of the Princess, and in doing so, support causes that we important to her.”
Written on Kensington Palace stationary, the letters’ contents feature sweet messages from the princess, as well as provide insight into her mindset during the final years of her life. Diana and Charles — who shared sons Prince William and Prince Harry — split after 11 years of marriage in 1992 and finalized their divorce in 1996. Diana was killed in a tragic Paris car accident a year later in 1997 at the age of 36. Charles later remarried to Camilla Parker Bowles, now Queen Consort, whom he had an alleged affair with during his marriage to Diana, in 2005.
In one letter dated May 20, 1996 — sold as Lot 418 — Diana expressed suspicion that her palace phone was bugged. She wrote to Susie, “As I don’t have a mobile it is difficult to discuss personal items. As my lines here are constantly recorded and passed on.”
But just a few months later, Diana was much more joyful in a letter — sold as Lot 422 — that she penned days after her and Charles’ divorce was finalized in August. “I am more than happy to have my freedom and reckon that I’m very fortunate to have a second chance,” she wrote, adding, “Lots of nice things have come my way and it’s fun… who’d have thought!”
The letters aren’t the only items of Diana’s that have recently been auctioned off. On January 18, Us Weekly confirmed that Kim Kardashian purchased the princess’ amethyst and diamond Attallah cross for $200,000. Lent to Diana by Naim Attallah in 1987, she once wore the cross to a Birthright charity event that same year.
Royal expert Valentine Lowe weighed in on what the royal family might have thought of the reality star’s purchase. “I think they probably laugh at it,” the journalist shared exclusively with Us on January 26. “Laugh about it over the breakfast table and move on.”
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