Apparently, a few decades ago real princesses didn’t ride bikes. Or at least that is what Princess Diana was led to believe when she ditched her bike before her marriage because the palace officials thought it was too “shameful” for a princess to use this as a mode of transportation.
According to the Daily Star, it was in the late 1970s when Diana raised a few eyebrows and made headlines for riding a bike around the grounds of Kensington Palace. The pictures were published linking Diana to Charles romantically before the engagement of the couple was announced.
Diana, like Meghan Markle today and Kate Middleton a few years before her, are assigned advisors by the palace as they ready themselves for a walk down the aisle and into the Royal Family. It was a few of those advisors who told the soon-to-be princess that a bicycle wasn’t fit and suitable mode of transportation for a princess.” It was then labeled “the shame bike” in the media.
The blue-colored Ladies Raleigh Traveller Bicycle was a frequent mode of transportation for Diana before she married Charles. That was until she was “told to stop riding it” by the Royal Palace aids, reports Road CC News.
She purchased the bike herself before her marriage to Prince Charles and she kept it until 1981 when she was approached by the palace aids who gave her the “shameful” words that a woman of her soon-to-be status shouldn’t be riding a bike. Diana listened to her directives and sold the bike to a father of one of her friends.
Dubbed “the shame bicycle,” it sat in that man’s garage for 27 years until 2008 when he sold it to its last owner for 211 pounds or about $300. That bike was recently put up for an online Auction and the price was outbid over and over again. It now has a new owner, which makes this unnamed person the third to own the bike since Diana said farewell to her “shameful” mode of transportation.
Before putting “the shame bicycle” on the virtual auction block, Duncan Lang, the auctioneer with Farnon & Lake of Thame, Oxon, said the following.
“This was Diana’s bike but when she got engaged to Charles it was said within the palace that it wasn’t very regal to be riding around London on a bicycle so it was sold and that was that.”
Ducan went on to say this.
“It’s in really nice condition but has actually been quite difficult to put a value on.”
One could only imagine that the difficulty in valuing this bike was due to it once being owned by Princess Diana, a woman whose popularity has never waned. The auction house expected the bike to rake in somewhere around 9,000 pounds, or about $12,500. It did just a bit better than that according to Road.cc. The bike fetched 9,200 pounds or almost $13,000.
Along with the bike, the new unnamed owner received a letter from Diana addressed to her friend’s father who originally purchased the bike from Diana herself, back when she was referred to as Lady Diana Spencer. The 26-inch woman’s bike even had its original tire pump ready to go.