Lifestyle & Belief

Rare photo of teenaged Princess Diana set for auction


Diana, Princess of Wales, converses during the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute fund raising dinner in Sydney 31 October. Diana was the guest of honour at the USD 800-a-head gala dinner - her first official engagement during her four-day visit. AFP PHOTO. (Photo credit should read POOL/AFP/Getty Images)



A rare photograph of a young Diana Spencer before she became Princess of Wales is headed for auction.

In the photo, shown here, Diana is lounging on a bed while a young man reads a book balanced on her shoulder. A bottle of whiskey in the background and the pair look happy and relaxed. 

Black grease pencil across the photo reads "Not to be published" and a black circle outlines their faces. The photo likely never been seen publicly before now, RR Auction told the Associated Press. 

It will be featured in an auction this month in New Hampshire. The opening bid starts at $200 but will likely go much higher. 

The photo's owner is Eric Caren of Caren Archive, a major private collection of rare newspapers and other publications. It was purchased from the UK's Daily Mirror newspaper seven years ago.

It's undated except for a stamp on the back saying 26 February 1981. According to CNN, that's two days after Buckingham Palace formally announced the engagement of Prince Charles to Diana. 

The photograph likely was taken a year or two earlier, CNN reports. 

The man seated next to Diana was identified by ABC News as Adam Russell, then a student at Oxford University and the great-grandson of former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin.

He confirmed to ABC that he was indeed the young mystery man but did not say any more. 

Royal biographer Andrew Morton said that the two were just friends.  Russell “always liked Diana but nothing ever happened, in part because he never expressed his desire for her," Morton said. 

Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997.