Princess Diana's Super Personal Letters Just Sold at Auction For $113,000

A collection of Princess Diana's handwritten notes, letters, and cards sold at auction in the U.K. last week for a staggering total of £82,000 (about $113,000).

  • A collection of Princess Diana's letters sold at auction for £82,000 (about $113,000) last week.
  • The correspondence showcases Diana's funny, entertaining personality; in one, she refers to the Queen as "the Boss."
  • One note, dated October 1995, sold for $12,000.

A collection of Princess Diana's handwritten notes, letters, and cards sold at auction in the U.K. last week for a staggering total of £82,000 (about $113,000), as Tatler reports. The letters, all sent to family friend Roger Bramble, were written between 1990 and 1997, and spent 24 years stashed in a closet in the Bramble family home.

While the letters touch on some of the most difficult aspects of Diana's life, including her divorce from Prince Charles, her mental health struggles, and the media scrutiny she faced, they also reveal her funny, entertaining personality. In a statement, the Bramble family said, "We have been concerned that contemporary portrayals of Diana may become accepted wisdom in the minds of the public. We believe these letters reveal the writer to be an affectionate, cultivated and delightful human being and that their wider publication could only do credit to their author."

In one letter to Roger Bramble, dated October 19, 1995, Diana jokingly refers to the Queen as "the Boss"—which might be why it sold for £8,700 (about $12,000). Thanking Bramble, then the Lord High Sheriff of Westminster, for lunch at London restaurant Bibendum, she apologizes for potentially making him late for a meeting with the Queen. "I just hope your arrival at Westminster Abbey was before the Boss (The Queen) and if not, I expect to have been mentioned in the excuses," Diana writes.

An August 1996 note, in which Diana thanks Bramble for a lunch that proved a "much welcome distraction" from her divorce from Prince Charles, sold at auction for £7,800 (about $11,000). In another, from 1992, the royal reflects on the "ghastly week" after the publication of Andrew Morton's tell-all biography of her; the note sold for £1,350 (about $2,000). A Christmas card, featuring a photo of Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry, was also included in the collection.

Diana fans from both the U.K. and the U.S. placed bids on the letters, according to Mimi Connell of David Lay Auctions. "People just love Diana, she was enormously popular," Connell said, as Tatler reports. "You learn a lot more about her as a person from reading these letters. You see her character and personality and intelligence come out." The proceeds from the auction will be split between four cultural organizations Diana was associated with: English National Ballet, Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, Opera Rara, and the Benesh International Endowment Fund.

Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.