A never-before-seen photo of a young Princess Diana, marked with the phrase “Not to be published” across the top, has been sold by a New Hampshire auction house for over $18,000.
In the photo, which was taken at a Swiss ski lodge, the future princess is lounging on a bed with a young man — who was identified as Adam Russell — sitting behind her and a bottle of whiskey resting on a window sill. The photo was taken around 1979 or 1980, when Diana Spencer was 18 or 19 years old. It was acquired by a British newspaper shortly before she became engaged to Prince Charles and was not to be published because it would have embarrassed the royal family.
Russell and Princess Diana became friendly on the trip and stayed in touch afterward. He had hoped to start a relationship with her, but after a year abroad, he returned to find that she was now with the Prince of Wales.
RR Auction in Amherst, New Hampshire, said the photo sold in an online auction Thursday to a San Diego real estate investor for $18,306. Early estimates pegged the photo at around $1,000.
Over 15 years after her death, people are still fascinated with the Princess of Wales. The Frazier History Museum in Louisville recently saw a boost in visitors due to a recent Princess Diana exhibit. More than 64,000 visitors came to the museum during the exhibit’s four-month run, which displayed her wedding gown and other designer dresses, as well as personal mementos. More than 1,500 people became members of the museum during the exhibit.
“This is definitely the biggest exhibition that the Frazier Museum has ever had,” Krista Snider, director of public relations and marketing, said.