That was quick. Princess Diana’s “mystery man,” depicted with the late royal in a previously-unseen photograph from the 1970s, has been identified by a Princess Di biographer.
The initial story about the photo was actually pretty cool. A rare, candid image of Princess Diana went up for auction Friday, showing the late royal and a “mystery man” relaxing together. The media went ablaze with speculation as to the man’s identity, though the mystery wrapped up pretty quickly with an email from Princess Di biographer Andrew Morton. As the picture suggests, the man was a one-time Diana suitor.
“I was given the task of trying to identify the boy in the picture,” Morton told The Guardian via email on Friday. “I later found out that the young man was Adam Russell, the great-grandson of former prime minister Stanley Baldwin, and now a deer farmer on Dorset.”
Today reports that the picture shows an 18 or 19-year-old Diana Spencer, mere days before her engagement to Prince Charles was announced by Buckingham Palace. The photo was taken on a Swiss ski trip, during which Russell and Diana became close after being benched from injuries suffered on the slope.
“They kept each other company while the others went skiing and, at the end of the holiday, Adam was somewhat smitten,” Morton said. “But absolutely nothing happened.”
The two stayed in touch after the trip, with Russell hoping to start a romantic relationship with the princess. He found that he had missed his chance after spending a year abroad.
“When he arrived home a year later it was too late,” Morton said. “A friend told him, ‘You’ve only got one rival — the Prince of Wales.”
There you go. Princess Diana’s “mystery man” was a lost love after all. Here’s the image: